Reviews for Spring Is Here

Booklist Reviews 2011 February #2
When Mole wakes up, he smells spring in the air. He tiptoes past Bear's bedroom and steps outdoors. Excited to feel the mud squishing beneath his feet, Mole decides to wake up Bear. He taps on his window, knocks on his door, and even tickles his nose with a feather, but Bear sleeps on. Determined to waken his hibernating pal, Mole gathers eggs, milks the cow, cooks an enormous breakfast, and carries it to him in bed. Bear wakes up and happily announces, "Spring is here," but Mole has fallen asleep. With plenty of repeated "sound" words, such as "Sniff. Sniff. Sniff," "Squish. Squish. Squish," and "Tap. Tap. Tap," the story is fun to read aloud and lends itself to audience participation. Nicely varied in composition, the mixed-media illustrations, which include many double-page spreads, show up particularly well from a distance. A good read-aloud choice for preschool units on hibernation. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
Attempting to rouse Bear from his winter's rest, Mole tries knocking on his door, tickling him, even blowing a horn. Finally, Mole tries a different approach, whipping up a spectacular breakfast. Hillenbrand's sense of humor is gentle yet emphatic, perfect for young children. With short, snappy sentences, happily predictable repetition, and engaging, tightly focused mixed-media illustrations, it's a surefire read-aloud for preschoolers. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #2
When Mole wakes up one morning, it's spring. But how to rouse his friend Bear, a determined slumberer, from his winter's rest? Mole tries knocking on his door ("Knock. Knock. Knock"), tickling him with a feather ("Swish. Swish. Swish"), even blowing on a horn ("Toot. Toot. Toot"). Bear, oblivious, sleeps on -- rumpled and cuddly in red and white striped pajamas. Finally, Mole tries a different approach, whipping up a spectacular breakfast for Bear ("He milked. He churned. He poured. He mixed") -- and now it's the worn-out Mole's turn to take a little snooze. Hillenbrand's sense of humor is gentle yet emphatic, perfect for young children. He manages to imbue Bear with personality even when asleep (and young readers will enjoy watching Bear's bedclothes get more and more disheveled as he gets closer and closer to waking up). Mole in his devotion is a sympathetic character, and the role reversal at the end adds just the right twist. With its abundance of noises to join in on, its short, snappy sentences, its use of happily predictable repetition, and its engaging, tightly focused mixed-media illustrations, this should make a surefire read-aloud for preschoolers. martha v. parravano Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 February #2

Mole is absolutely thrilled that spring has finally arrived. As the mud squishes up between his bare toes, he realizes that he needs to give Bear a wake-up call so they can share spring together. But that is easier said than done. Clues hidden in the illustrations will help children guess how Mole is going to wake up his friend. The stick rapping on the window doesn't work. Neither does a knock on his door. Mole ups the ante with a feather to Bear's nose and finally some toots on his trumpet. Nothing works. After some thought, Mole dashes outside. His chores keep him busy for quite some time as he prepares a feast for Bear the old-fashioned way, even milking the cow and churning the butter himself. So, it is no surprise that he is rather droopy-eyed when he finally delivers Bear's tray. Nor is the fact that while Bear is wide-eyed and thrilled to welcome spring, Mole has fallen fast asleep. Hillenbrand has crafted in Mole a character sure to tug at readers' hearts. His diligence, excitement and desire to share the wonders of spring are a breath of fresh air. The mixed-media illustrations capture both the harbingers of early springtime and Mole's enthusiasm, while Bear's droll expressions are charming. A sweet, simple tale of the lengths we all go to in the name of friendship...and spring. (Picture book. 3-6)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 January #4

Hillenbrand's (Don't Slam the Door!) simple tale treads lightly on familiar picture book ground: a perkier species tries to rouse a bear from his long winter's nap. In this case, the chipper critter is Mole, who has awoken to smell the fresh spring air and feel the mud under his feet with a "Squish. Squish. Squish." Despite his knocking, horn tooting, and tickling, the only response Mole gets from the slumbering Bear is "Snore." At last, a special homemade breakfast treat does the trick, causing Bear to wake up and smell the goodies, even as Mole's efforts leave Mole exhausted. These friendly animals have some of the coziest dens around--Bear snuggles in striped pajamas in a fluffy bed with comforter and pillows; Mole dashes about in blue gingham overalls and is a whiz with basic kitchen appliances. The repetition, ample onomatopoeia, and tender tone of the spare text, combined with heavily textured mixed-media renderings of this gentle pair of pals, create a sunny welcome to the season. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 March

PreS--Mole wakes up and wonders if it is spring. Stepping outside, he relishes the "Squish. Squish. Squish" of mud under his feet. Anxious to share the news, he raps on Bear's window, but his friend is fast asleep. Mole's door-knocking, nose-tickling, and horn-playing all fail to rouse Bear. Deciding on a different tactic, Mole "gathered. He milked. He churned. He poured. He mixed. He baked." While wide-awake Bear tucks into his breakfast, it is Mole's turn to snooze. Hillenbrand's mixed-media illustrations have a warmly colored, textured appearance. With its well-placed repetition, this simply told tale is perfect for toddlers. Pair it with Karma Wilson's Bear Snores On (S & S, 2002) and Kevin Henkes's Old Bear (Greenwillow, 2008) for a seasonal storytime.--Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

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