The Thing About Spring
Spring is in the air! Bear, Bird, and Mouse are all excited that winter snows are melting away, but their friend Rabbit is not. There are too many things about winter that Rabbit adores, and spring just seems to spell trouble. His friends offer an abundance of reasons to love spring and the changing seasons, but will Rabbit listen? Daniel Kirk has written a lively and humorous tale with the gentle message that change can be fun.
Reviews of The Thing About Spring
Review from School Library Journal
Rabbit is grumpy. While his friends Bird, Mouse, and Bear extol the highlights of the changing season, Rabbit sees only the negative in warming temperatures. He’s sad that winter is over and all the snow is melting. That means there will be no more snow forts or throwing snowballs or easily tracking his friends. For each criticism Rabbit voices, his buddies explain why the changes are positive: “‘The thing about spring,’ said Rabbit, ‘is that it rains when you’re not expecting it!’ ‘But rain brings out the flowers,’ said Mouse. ‘And the worms,’ said Bird.” Illustrations, created using pen and ink with their color and texture added digitally, are varied and pleasing. When Rabbit discovers that winter has left him one last gift, he finally smiles about the inevitable change. VERDICT A fun and engaging addition to seasonal collections.
Review from Kirkus Reviews
In a pleasing nod to young readers’ enjoyment, the text makes good use of repetition and pattern…the animals are appealing in their appearances and in their obvious devotion to one another—even to the Eeyore-like Rabbit.
Daniel Kirk speaks about The Thing About Spring
Some stories start with a great plot, or a great character. Other stories start with a title.
The Thing About Spring is a book that began with a catchy title, and went on from there. Books about seasons are popular, so I decided to write one of my own. And since books come out in the fall and the spring, it wasn’t hard deciding which season would be the most fun to write about. Everybody loves spring! But how could I write a story about something everybody loves, when there’d be no surprise or challenge?
I wondered if I could make one of my characters NOT like spring. I had already decided there would be four friends, Rabbit, Bear, Bird and Mouse. Which one would not like spring, and why? An author always asks him or herself “Why?” In this case, I happen to have a cranky bunny for a pet at my house…so I decided to make Rabbit the character in the book who loves winter, and always hates it when spring comes around. As a matter of fact, my bunny loves to dig in the snow during winter months. I’m never sure what he’s thinking when we put him in the snow, but he seems to have a great time.
One of the most fun things about writing stories with more than one character is that I get to explore friendship, one of my favorite themes. In The Thing About Spring, Rabbit, Bird, Bear and Mouse are different animals, with different sizes, diets, sleep and play habits, and so on. People are pretty different from each other, too, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends!
I hope I get to do another book with these characters. I’d call it, “The Thing About Fall.” I’ve already decided that Bear is the animal who isn’t going to like the coming of Fall, because it’s almost time to hibernate, and he doesn’t want to go to bed. It will be up to the other animals to cheer Bear up and help him see the bright side!
Things to think about and do after you have read The Thing About Spring
Do you have a favorite season? Why? What about your best friend, do you think he or she has the same favorite season you do? Is it okay if you disagree?
Think of a few things you like about each season. Then think of some things you DON’T like about each season! There are sure to be some.
An animal’s home is called its habitat. There are animals living all around the world, from the frozen north to the heat of the equator. If you picked a polar bear up from the Arctic and dropped him in Peru, he would not be a happy bear! Make a list of animals, and a list of places. Here’s an example:
Chipmunk the desert
Whale the North Pole
Mountain goat my neighborhood
Scorpion the Mississippi river
Fruit bat France
Panda bear New York City
Now draw lines between an animal and a habitat (like between whale and my neighborhood, or panda bear and France) and see what kind of combinations you come up with. Maybe you can write a story about an animal in a new habitat, telling how the animal gets along in his new home!
In The Thing About Spring, all of the animals have to convince Rabbit that the arrival of spring is a good thing. This is called the art of persuasion! If you think about it, you can come up with convincing reasons for almost anything. See if you can come up with convincing reasons why it would be good:
For elephants to go to school
for mom to give you candy for dinner every night
for kids to choose their own bedtime
for cats to learn to drive cars
for farm animals to be super heroes
for a dinosaur to be president
Your results are sure to be funny, and it will teach you something about how to use your powers of persuasion!