Daffodils – tick.
Snowdrops – tick.
Birds singing more loudly – tick.
Sunshine – well, a bit, so half a tick.
Lambs gambolling in the fields – tick.
What does all this mean? It means spring, one of our favourite seasons. Yes, spring is definitely here, and we are looking forward to a super busy year ahead, illustrating some truly wonderful children’s books. We’ll tell you all about them in another blog.
However, we do like to pause every so often, so here are our musings on spring, as we ‘take five’.
Five facts about spring.
1. Spring almost always arrives on March 20 or 21, but sometimes on the 19th. The reason the equinoxes and solstices don’t always come on the same day is that Earth doesn’t circle the sun in exactly 365 days. This year, it’s March 20.
2. The first day of spring is called the vernal equinox. The term vernal is Latin for ‘spring’, and equinox is Latin for ‘equal night’.
3. Holidays that take place in spring include Easter, Passover, April Fool’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Holi (the Hindu festival of colours).
4. Meteorological spring beings on March 1, a month when average temperatures increase by 10 degrees over the month (let’s hope they do! It’s been a bit chilly lately).
5. Children grow faster during the spring (we have no idea why, but apparently it is true!)
Five things to do in spring.
1. Visit gardens. Many will be opening up after the winter and will look gorgeous – a riot of colourful tulips, daffs and crocuses.
2. Spring clean the house. You could do a room at a time, or only do one room altogether (a few cobwebs never hurt anyone).
3. Start a new project. There’s nothing like spring for inspiring us to get cracking on a new hobby.
4. Get outside. At Happydesigner, our daily walks happen all year round, but in spring, with buds unfurling and blossom – well – blossoming, it is especially joyful.
5. Write your memoirs. Even if you never become a published author, your children, grandchildren, friends and family will love reading about your experiences.
Five is a magic number.
Well, it is when it comes to children. Just off the top of our heads, we can think of:
1. Enid Blyton’s Famous Five – Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog.
2. Five Children and It, E Nesbitt’s brilliant story about five children who uncover a rather grumpy, ugly, and occasionally malevolent Psammead (a sand fairy – no, we’d never heard of one either).
3. Fives is a game where a ball is propelled against the walls of a three or four-sided special court, using a gloved or bare hand as though it were a racquet.
4. Fingerbobs was a fantastic children’s programme in the ’70s, where the presenter, Yoffy, used his five fingers as a glove puppet to tell a story. The main puppet characters were Fingermouse, Gulliver, Scampi and Flash, and only 14 programmes were ever made.
5. Five school days, and then it’s the weekend – always worth celebrating!
Goodbye to a children’s book legend
We want to pay tribute to the wonderful Shirley Hughes, renowned children’s book author and illustrator, who died recently at the age of 94.
We so loved her series of ‘Alfie’ books, her Dogger picture book and the astounding drawings she created for the ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ series, written by Dorothy Evans.
Shirley’s passing comes two years after we lost Judith Kerr, whose wonderful books included The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the ‘Mog the cat’ series.
Both inspiring illustrators and writers. We can walk in their footsteps…
Written by Jo Smyth (www.wordworker.co.uk)