Rabbit is apprehensive about winter turning to spring, and his friends Mouse, Bird and Bear help convince him that spring is equally wonderful.
Rabbit’s concerns run from not having snow to play in and find his friends’ footprints in to how bad Bear smells when he wakes up from hibernation to unpredictable rain showers to longer days: “I am a cranky bunny when I don’t get enough sleep!” There is a cute surprise at the end, when Rabbit offers his own solution to his thirst, brought on by spring’s warmer weather. In a pleasing nod to young readers’ enjoyment, the text makes good use of repetition and pattern; each time Rabbit protests spring with the expression, “The thing about spring is…,” one friend counters the claim, and another says, “me too” or “me three.” The animals are appealing in their appearances and in their obvious devotion to one another—even to the Eeyore-like Rabbit. Children from northern climes, where even those who love snow and ice are excited by spring, may find it difficult to feel empathy for Rabbit, whose cartoonlike bunny face has a perpetual look of angst until the end.
Although the underlying idea is that resistance to change is normal—and acceptance of change is healthy—an easier sell would have been an animal who dreaded the cold and dark of winter. (Picture book. 3-6)