Snowdrifts give way to raindrops, and flowers burst out in bright profusion to signal the arrival of a new season.
Following the lead of his Winter (2015), Carter places six intricate pop-up arrangements over simple but easily recognizable images of seasonal wildlife and other sights in the same landscape. He also strews each increasingly populous scene with identifying labels. Some of these (“rainbow,” “stream”) are superfluous or, in the case of “wildflowers,” unhelpfully generic, but most will let young children attach names to specific flora, including “cattails,” “miner’s lettuce,” and “penstemon,” plus a variety of bees, butterflies, birds, and other fauna. (At least three of the flowers depicted, sunflowers, thistles, and asters, typically do not bloom until late summer or fall, however.) The pop-ups are the main attraction, of course, ranging from a radiant white water lily to a blooming dogwood complete with robins’ and hummingbirds’ nests. Following simple observations and questions that invite closer looks, such as, “Who is singing? Who finds a worm?” the brief narrative’s concluding line—“The earth is busy when spring is here”—offers an explicit statement of the overall theme.
A tantalizing glimpse of what’s in store after winter’s long rest. (Pop-up picture book. 3-5)