FIRST COMES SPRING by Anne Rockwell

FIRST COMES SPRING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

First comes spring and then the other seasons in their turn, each in a similar sequence of three spreads depicting bears in human roles. First, across from a simple, red, peaked-roof house, a stiff flat Bear Child is shown garbed for the season; the few words of text list Bear Child's items of clothing (e.g., ""sneakers, shorts and T-shirt"" for summer) and point to the apple tree's blossoms, red fruit, or whatever. Next comes a sort of Scarry-like town scene in which ""Everyone is busy,"" and then a scattering of the separate busy bears from that scene (static little figures despite all the busyness), this time with words denoting their activities: ""riding bicycles,"" ""putting screens on the windows,"" ""going fishing,"" and so on. The interchangeable bears have no personalities and exist only for their actions, but young children may take to their cooky-cutter quality. (For disarming childlike awkwardness, see especially the diver in summer, the young bears ""playing football"" in winter.) The multiplicity of actions has proven appeal, and Rockwell's overall scheme--with the figures buried in the scenes, then sorted out and labeled--allows for reader interaction.

Pub Date: May 8th, 1985
Publisher: Crowell