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Spring Blossoms - Carole Gerber I enjoyed Evans' lino-cut illustrations a lot (they brought the book up from a 2 to a 3). This is a pile of meticulous work, and block printing (even though it's printing) can be much more involved and time-consuming than painting. So recognizing the technique made me look more closely at the illustrations than I might have otherwise, and to puzzle over exactly what was done with blocks, what was painted on, and what was done digitally. It's really hard to tell what is digital here at all, which is nice and should be expected.

I was less impressed with Gerber's rhyming text. She has a lot of books out in this style, and this is one of three in a seasons series. I just don't find the rhyming text interesting for this material, and was hoping for something more free verse for these illustrations. The text harks back to the old rhyming tradition from the 30s-50s, but doesn't have any power for me. I've also heard it's an immediate turn-off for editors and agents looking at new material.

Authors invariably paint themselves into a corner by needing to rhyme the text in a picturebook, and end up needing rhymes that aren't interesting and feel forced: "...beneath its twigs, as we can see...that grow new cones high on the tree." The 'as we can see' is a filler rhyme, and 'tree' is a far less interesting word than many of the others she worked with in the rhymes.