A “snow scene” gives way to spring.
Verbal and visual cues work together to prompt connections from one double-page spread to the next as spare text combines with lush, painterly acrylic illustrations to deliver a contemplative picture book. “What are these?” reads the opening line, printed against a close-up picture of birch trees against a cold, blue background. “Trees,” comes the response on the next spread, with a zoomed-out visual point of view creating depth in the picture plane and depicting the birches among other trees in a snowy landscape. The facing page asks, “And those?” prompting a page turn to reveal that the purplish shapes against the snow on that page were “Shadows. / Of crows.” Ensuing pages show further details in the snowy landscape and briefly introduce child characters without developing a real story around them. Instead, a changing palette works with the spare text to first indicate a shift from day to night and then from winter to spring. The children, who have light, peachy skin and dark hair, reappear and enjoy the great outdoors, as do various animals. The conclusion, showing them gazing at a snow-capped mountain in springtime, brings everything full circle.
A lushly quiet read. (Picture book. 2-5)