Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spring Things

Spring Things
by Bob Raczka
Illustrated by Judy Stead

About the book:
Celebrate the joyful return of spring in this rhyming picture book which celebrates the most welcome of all seasons. Spare rhymes are paired with kid-friendly watercolors with a palette that will brighten even the darkest days.

About the author:
Bob Raczka lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with his wife, Amy, and their three children. One of the things he loves most about living in the Midwest is the changing seasons. And because he is a Chicago Cubs fan, one of the things he loves most about spring is the start of the baseball season, when he still has hope that the Cubbies could go all the way. Bob is also the author of several children’s books about art.

About the illustrator:
Judy Stead studied art at the Boston Museum School and the Massachusetts College of Art. Beyond formal education, her best teacher has been observation of the work of favorite artists- Matisse, Gaugin, and Klimt.
Judy and her family lived in Boston for many springs, waiting impatiently for the snow to melt and the first flowers to bloom. Now she and her husband enjoy the early springtime of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Author Interview: (just in case)

  1. What originally inspired you to write this love poem to spring?
  2. What is your favorite part of writing for children?
  3. Do you have any advice for young writers?

Illustrator Interview:
  1. How do you decide your palette for a particular story?
  2. What’s your favorite part of creating a picture book?
  3. What advice do you have for young artists?

What is your favorite season of the year? Why? What activities do you like to do during that season?


  1. What does the author mean when he says, “cold’s grip slipping?”
  2. What types of things bud or sprout in spring?
  3. Many sports are played typically in one season. What are spring sports?
  4. Why do you think babies are hatched in spring instead of fall or winter?
  5. Have you ever been kite flying? When is a good time to go? Why?
  6. Can you list five verbs that go with spring? (think about activities)
  7. Some plants are started indoors in spring. Why not put the seeds straight into the ground?
  8. Why do you think there are more thunderstorms in springtime?
  9. What do you think is your pet’s favorite season? Why?
  10. What colors did the illustrator use in the book? Why do you think she picked such a vibrant palette of colors?

Across the curriculum:

Language Arts:

Verbs are the action words in a sentence. Make a list of all the action words in the book. Now, brainstorm at least ten more verbs that go with your favorite season. Illustrate!

Can you create a tune that goes with the text of Spring Things? In small groups or partners try to create a melody using your voices or small hand-held instruments.


sing this to the tune of “Are you sleeping?”

I see flowers, I see butterflies
baseball too, everything’s new
The world starts growing
The breeze is gently blowing
Spring is near
Spring is here

Take a large sheet of paper and divide it into four sections. Now create a collage from magazines, newspapers, advertisements and your own illustrations to show activities and objects that relate to that season. Share with the class.

Create a simple line drawing of your house or neighborhood. Now, have it copied three times and then use whatever materials you like design each picture to reveal the season of the year. Mount on a large poster board together.