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WHEN WILL IT BE SPRING? by Catherine Walters


by Catherine Walters & illustrated by Catherine Walters

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-525-45881-6
Publisher: Dutton

 Winter approaches. It is time for Alfie the bear cub to start hibernating. `` `When will it be spring?' asked Alfie. `And how will I know when it's here?' '' Mother Bear tells him to look for butterflies; when Alfie awakens and peeks out of the cave, he sees white butterflies everywhere. No, groans his mother, those are snowflakes. She tells him to wait for the birds; he sees icicles hanging from bright leaves and mistakes them for swallows. Alfie mistakes a hunters' fire for the warmth of the sun, and then, when spring finally arrives, goes to sleep among the wildflowers. That's the least original twist; otherwise, this perfectly captures the anxiety of the very young over the waiting process (``Is it morning yet?'' and ``Are we there yet?''). Walter's illustrations are scene-stealers, with their terrific evocations of wild landscapes and the creatures Alfie encounters- -bat, mink, wolf, lynx--during his midwinter investigations. (Picture book. 3-7)