and then it's spring by Julie Fogliano is charming. It's a new picture book reminding us patience and anticipation are part of our seasonal journey from winter to spring. A boy and his dog are outside and notice everything is brown, all around. They plant seeds and wait for rain. As they wait they notice things around them in the garden outside are still brown. As I think all gardeners do, the boy and his dog worry about their seeds. Waiting, watching, worry and weeks past by. Sometimes the brown seems to be turning a greenish. Planting pots are set outside. A tire swing gets hung. I bet you can predict the ending, it's a happy one.
The warm, muted illustrations are one to enjoy. From what I can tell the illustrations are done in a colored pencil tool of sort. They look like pencil lines carefully done using shading to show angles and shades within a color. The facial expressions bring emotion and feeling to this story. It's easy to connect with the characters and hope for the brown to go away. I was easily anticipating what would happen and hoping spring would arrive to complete their plans. I also love the monotone color hues and the use of non glossy paper.