Tuesday, June 21, 2016

When Spring Comes   
By Kevin Henkes
Illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Published: 2016

Kevin Henkes again teams Laura Dronzek to create yet another outstanding picture book!

When Spring Comes is a narrative told in a gentle voice using repetition and patterns, alliteration and visual imagery, making it an excellent mentor text for many grade levels for different writing craft moves.

Of course and as always, When Spring Comes, should be read as a classroom read-aloud for students to enjoy the story and take in/ digest the meaning.  After reading it as a read-aloud, using it as a mentor text will be powerful.

For grades 1-3, there are several possibilities on how to use When Spring Comes as a mentor text. The pattern and repetition in which Henkes writes is easy to grasp for our youngest writers.  He also uses alliteration in parts of the book. This would be a nice challenge for 2nd or 3rd grade writers who are ready to add that type of writing to their narratives.

For grades 4-5, especially if it is the first year in a writing workshop, Henkes' use of visual imagery, as well as descriptive language, is worth emulating for writers who may find those type of writing moves difficult.

**Also to note-the illustrations by Laura Dronzek (Kevin Henkes' wife) are simple, clean, colorful, inviting and beautiful.

Book Talk
Henkes takes readers through a nature journey of the many things that happen “before spring comes’: the trees look like they have black sticks, the grass is brown, the garden is just dirt.

BUT…if one is willing to wait—the many wonders of spring reveal themselves: blossoms grow on trees, grass turns green with little flowers, birds are born.

Some favorite lines:
Before Spring comes, the garden is just dirt, and empty.
But if you wait, Spring will push green shoots through the dirt to fill up the garden.”

“But when spring is finally here to stay, you will know it….
There will be buds and bee and boots and bubbles.”

The story ends by declaring that when spring finally arrives and we think we are finished waiting, we really aren’t.  

Because there is always summer to wait for!

Suggested Uses As a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: Fiction
Reading Workshop Strategies: Visualizing, Connecting, Inferring, Questioning, Fluency
Writing Workshop Genre and Strategies: Narrative Writing, Elaboration, Grammar (adjectives, descriptive language), Alliteration, Repetition/Pattern writing
Curriculum Themes (Grades prek-1): Nature, Seasons, Change

Kevin Henkes website: http://www.kevinhenkes.com/

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