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Cover image for When spring comes
When spring comes


First edition.
New York, NY : Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrator ; 30 cm
"Animals and children alike watch as the world transforms from the dark and dead of winter to a full and blooming spring"-- Provided by publisher.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning LG 2.1 0.5 180009.

AR 2.1 0.5.

Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.1 0.5 180009.
Added Author:


Call Number
JP Henkes
JP Henkes
JP Henkes

On Order



The award-winning, bestselling husband-and-wife team of Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek collaborate on this beautiful picture book celebrating the arrival of spring.

Before spring comes, the trees are dark sticks, the grass is brown, and the ground is covered in snow. But if you wait, leaves unfurl and flowers blossom, the grass turns green, and the mounds of snow shrink and shrink.

Spring brings baby birds, sprouting seeds, rain and mud, and puddles. You can feel it and smell it and hear it--and you can read it!

Kevin Henkes uses striking imagery, repetition, and alliteration to introduce basic concepts of language and the changing of the seasons. And Laura Dronzek's gorgeous, lush paintings show the transformation from quiet, cold winter to the joyful newborn spring.

Watch the world transform when spring comes!

Author Notes

Kevin Henkes was born in Racine, Wis. in 1960 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. One of four children in his family, Henkes grew up with aspirations of being an artist. As a junior in high school, one of Henkes's teachers awakened his interest in writing. Falling in love with both writing and drawing, Henkes realized that he could do both at the same time as a children's book author and illustrator.

At the age of 19, Henkes went to New York City to get his first book, All Alone, published. Since that time, he has written and illustrated dozens of picture books including Chrysanthemum, Protecting Marie, and A Weekend with Wendell. A recurring character in several of Henkes's books is Lily, an outrageous, yet delightful, individualist. Lily finds herself the center of attention in the books Chester's Way, Julius, the Baby of the World, and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse.

A Weekend With Wendell was named Children's Choice Book by the Children's Book Council in 1986. He recieved the Elizabeth Burr Award for Words of Stone in 1993. Owen was named a Caldicott Honor in 1994. The Year of Billy Miller was named a Newbery Honor book in 2014.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-There's something almost magical about the changing of the seasons, and Henkes and Dronzek once again perfectly capture the quiet wonder of the natural world, as they did in Birds and Oh! Through second-person narration that features the refrain "but if you wait...," they detail the subtle and less subtle changes that occur as spring replaces winter-snow melts, trees and flowers blossom, birds hatch, and rain brings mud and puddles. Dronzek's vivacious acrylic illustrations, their bright colors emphasized by the thick black outlines, complement Henkes's spare but lyrical prose. VERDICT A must-have, joyful seasonal title for the youngest listeners that will make them impatient for all that spring brings.-Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY c Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

With lyricism and an eye for drama in small things, the husband-and-wife team of Henkes and Dronzek introduce and examine the unfolding of spring, "Before Spring comes,/ the trees look like/ black sticks against the sky," he begins. "But if you wait/ Spring will bring/ leaves and blossoms." Dronzek's cozy paintings combine the simplified shapes of plants, creatures, and children, outlining them in heavy black and filling them in with scumbled brushstrokes. A seed sprouts in the dirt, seen in cross-section as the roots grow first and leaves emerge. An egg shows a hairline crack, from which a pink, featherless bird hatches. Henkes is honest about spring's more trying moments, weaving themes of waiting and patience throughout: "Spring can come quickly or slowly," he writes, above a vignette of daffodils in full bloom. "It changes its mind a lot," he continues as the flowers wilt under the weight of wet snow. Readers, especially those who live in regions that experience the full range of changing seasons, will warm to this catalog of familiar joys. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Before Spring comes, / the trees look like / black sticks against the sky. // But if you wait, / Spring will bring / leaves and blossoms. In a gently rhythmic text and lush, vibrant paintings, this husband-and-wife author-illustrator team (Birds, rev. 3/09) ushers in spring, capturing the seasons sights, sounds, and surprises. With emphasis at first on waiting, Henkess poetic text focuses on details in which young children delight: the last snowman melting slowly away until suddenly -- [its] gone; April showers -- mud, puddles, and all (I hope you like umbrellas); pussy willows and new kittens. Likewise, Dronzeks illustrations show a childs-eye view of the world (and those white kittens have to be litter-mates of Henkess first-full-moon-admiring one). Her palette is a celebration of springtime hues, from earth tones and soft pastels to bright primary and secondary colors. Single pages, double-page spreads, and a few time-lapse sequences are satisfyingly varied. The narrative follows springs fickle progress, including an unexpected snowfall that weighs down some hopeful daffodils. Several stylistic devices (repetition, alliteration, line breaks) help create mood, and the page design perfectly marries text and art. When Spring is finally here to stay, the text teases that were not done waiting: Now, you have to wait for Summer. The back endpapers show whats in store. This joyful reflection is as welcome as spotting the first brave crocus. kitty flynn (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Caldecott Medalist and Newbery honoree Henkes hands over the paintbrush for this ode to spring.Recalling the central activity in his winsome Waiting (2015), Henkes' text emphasizes patience. "If you wait, / Spring will bring / leaves and blossoms" to cover bare winter branches. "If you wait, Spring will make" snow melt to nothingness (eventually) and turn brown grass green. A read-aloud dream, the meticulous text catalogs Spring's awakenings and its characteristic weather. "I hope you like umbrellas," the narrator dryly advises before also acknowledging that Spring "changes its mind a lot," as the drooping, snow-covered daffodils attest. As the season advances, the text grows giddy with alliteration and syllabic bounce: "There will be buds / and bees / and boots / and bubbles." Dronzek's thick-lined, bright acrylics are as simultaneously wry and joyous as the text. Readers will chuckle at the slowly melting snowman reduced to sticks and pieces of coal over five vignettes, and they will thoroughly luxuriate in highly saturated double-page spreads bursting with flowers and color (and kittens!). A towheaded child and a brunette older sibling, both white, also feel the joy. A final medallion showing three kittens amid strawberry plants teasingly reminds readers that the waiting's not over: "Now, you have to wait for Summer"; endpapers tantalize with fireworks, Popsicles, and flip-flops. Henkes and Dronzek make waiting almost as much funif not more sothan the payoff. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* For those bound to be eager for winter's end, beginning bright blue endpapers preview the joys and delights of spring: daffodils, robins, kites, and raindrops. A bleak wintertime blue-gray landscape quickly morphs into the pink-blossomed trees of April (If you wait, Spring will bring leaves and blossoms). Five sequential pictures humorously follow a snowman as he melts into a muddy mound of twigs for a happy robin to discover. The alliterative text bugs, bees, boots, and bubbles; worms, wings, wind, and wheels and the if you wait refrain accompanies action-filled double-page spreads of children and animals galloping and bounding. The acrylic art is in rich full color, accented with vibrant pastels and subjects, most notably the three white kittens who dart from page to page, thickly outlined in black. Full-bleed spreads contrast with generous white spaces that surround details of nesting birds and scurrying mice. At the book's end, bright yellow endpapers illustrate some of summer's anticipated delights, encouraging readers to look for toy boats, sand pails, beach balls, corn on the cob, and watermelon. Lyrical and elegant in its simplicity, this is an enchanting celebration of the season to pair with Oh! (1999), the paean to winter created by this same husband-and-wife team. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Henkes, a Newberry Honor Book author and Caldecott Medal winner, is always popular, and he and Dronzek have proven themselves to be an effective team.--Gepson, Lolly Copyright 2015 Booklist