It sure doesn't feel like Spring here in New York City right now, so it must be a perfect time to read Lucille Clifton's The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring.
Everybody's talking about, but where is it? "Look here, man," King Shabazz says to his friend Tony Polito, "I'm goin to get me some of this Spring." And with that, the two boys set out on a mission around their urban neighborhood to locate the mysterious season. In fact, the illusive Spring ends up being so enticing the boys venture further than they ever have before... even past the corner with the streetlight. Their perseverance pays off when they find Spring: it's small, but for the boys it is beautiful and exciting.
The setting for this book is the inner city of the 1970s, but it's not a grim place. Illustrator Brinton Turkle fills the city streets with a variety of people engaged in everyday activities like delivering the mail and eating at diners. There are yummy b-b-q smells and colorful stained glass windows at the Church of the Solid Rock.
I think even kids who are unfamiliar with the city will be able to relate to the earnestness with which the boys set out on their search. Put it on your to-read list this Spring.
Read a terrific and thoughtful review at a wrung sponge.
Read about Lucille Clifton at The Poetry Foundation, or in her obituary in the New York Times.
Learn about the illustrator.
Big Kid says: I love Spring. I also want to find a bird's nest.