A Children’s Book of the Year, Child Study Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College
“Three playmates and a dog explore all the delights of spring…. Carr’s bouncing rhymes are full of choice adjectives – sloppy and bloomy, swooping and snapping – and there’s plenty of visual appeal along with the auditory fun.” – Booklist
SPLISH, SPLASH, SPRING
by JAN CARR
There's a crocus!
Brave the chill
Down the hill
Three friends (and their pup!) head out to explore spring. They dig for worms, fly kites, and get a little wet in the inevitable spring showers. But they don't care -- spring's a-sprout! A young book, told in rhyme.
WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK
Splish, Splash, Spring is the second book I wrote in the seasons trilogy. Trilogy, you say? Why are there only 3 books? There are 4 seasons! True, but these books have been enjoyed in a lot of schools, and schools aren't in session in summer. So the books ended up being about winter, spring and fall.
I got the idea for the books because I wanted to write about the seasons. I love the seasons! Also, I wanted the texts to be simple, like haikus. Interestingly, haikus often use the seasons as their subject, too.
Also, I didn't want the books to be just rhymes. I thought of them more as word play than rhyme. I use a lot of alliteration, which is when the sounds of the consonants are repeated, for example, the S sounds in "Spring is sloppy," the P sounds in "Plucky petals," the B sounds in "Boughs are bloomy," or the consonant blend Th sounds in "Thunder threatens."
Sometimes, when I read the books in kindergarten or first-grade classes, I ask the kids if they can hear the sounds and tell me what they are. The kids are just learning the sounds of letters, and love to shout them out.
But the books don't just play with consonant sounds. There are also a lot of vowel sounds. Did you catch the Long A sounds in "Days are playful," or the Long O sounds in "Hocus-pocus/There's a crocus?" When an author uses vowel sounds that way, it's called "assonance."
A lot of fancy words for pure, clean fun! The books are meant as a kind of tickle to the ear.
Days are playful! Spring's a-sprout!
Did you notice the art? Can you tell how it was made? It's collage, of course! Because the pictures are made out of cut-out pieces of paper, which are layered, they almost look 3-D. The illustrator, Dorothy Donohue, gave me a piece of art from the book, and it hangs on the wall right above my desk. Thank you, Dorothy! It's fun for me to look at it and notice how she cut out every blade of grass. Imagine how much patience that took!