Saturday, April 24, 2010
How do you know it's spring?
When the groundhog casts his shadow
And the small birds sing
And the pussywillows happen
And the sun shines warm
And when the peepers peep
Then it is Spring.
He was quoting, verbatim, from Margaret Wise Brown's Pussy Willow, a Little Golden Book first published in 1951. Pussy Willow, a little gray kitten, encounters a frog ("peeper") who asks "How do you know it's Spring?" When Pussy Willow doesn't know, the peeper answers with those six lines.
When we first brought this book out last fall, I wasn't sure Augie would like the flowery language, but in fact he asked to reread it many times. We hadn't gone back to it for at least a couple of months when he recited this passage to me.
I've learned you don't know what they're going to like until you try it, and you don't know what's in their minds until you ask! And even the most old-fashioned stories can still charm a child.
(FYI, I see that Amazon has a newer version with a new illustrator.)