Spring has sprung! We’ve just had a wonderful weekend chez Happydesigner, blessed with glorious sunshine, with the days starting frosty, and the nights clear and moonlit.
Spring sunshine, frosty mornings, moonlit nights – sounds like the setting for the opening of a novel! But we digress…
Spring has sprung. Plants are beginning to bud, snowdrops (almost past their best) are being joined by daffodils, and it won’t be long until trees are in leaf – and at Happydesigner, we love trees.
As a nation, we are beginning to feel like we are emerging from a long and very difficult winter – indeed, a difficult year, where coronavirus has kept so many families apart, and so many have lost loved ones.
With the success of the vaccine rollout, and falling Covid 19 cases, we can all feel a little heartened and hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
There is a saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, so as the weeks roll on towards April, we can look forward to longer days, warmer weather, and – all being well – meeting up with friends and family (while of course, following the Covid rules).
Drawing inspiration from spring
Possibly more than any other season, spring has motivated writers to put pen to paper. Here are three of our favourite poems, inspired by this lovely season:
- I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud – William Wordsworth’s tribute to that favourite of spring flowers, the daffodil.
- Spring – William Blake’s celebration of the season (“Merrily, merrily we welcome in the year”).
- Spring – Gerard Manley Hopkins, who wrote, “Nothing is so beautiful as Spring”. How true!
And of course there are many, many books set in spring, especially for children, including ‘Winnie-The-Pooh’s Book of Spring’ and ‘One Springy Day: a Percy the Parkkeeper story’. Percy and Pooh – what wonderful characters for children to enjoy.
If you have a favourite story or poem set in spring, we’d love to know what it is. Why not drop us an email?
What events happen in spring
As well as the burgeoning animal and plant life, spring sees us celebrating a number of festivals. These include the start of the month of Ramadan (from April 12), the Jewish festival of Passover (from March 27), and of course Easter (both a pagan and Christian festival, and perfect also for lovers of chocolate. Easter Sunday is April 4).
On a more secular note, and one that is of great interest to the bookworms here at Happydesigner, is World Book Day, due to take place on March 4.
The aim of this annual event, marked in more than 100 countries around the world, is to:
“Promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. We want to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.”
And as children’s book illustrators and lovers of all things literary, we couldn’t agree more.
What do you love about spring?
We thought we’d ask some of our Happydesigner friends what they love about spring, here are some of their comments:
“Spring usually heralds the first concerts of the year as most orchestras programme their concerts by season or term. I’m holding out hope that I’ll get some summer or autumn concerts in this year, after over a year without any.”
“Sounds of birds shouting from bushes and treetops, cuckoos, woodpeckers and larks as they start down the path to nesting season. Also the sound of lawnmowers! That bright sunlight that reminds you your windows need cleaning and the winter dust needs removing.”
“I love early morning dog walks which are less misty or murky, more flowers en route and a general lifting of the spirit. After a pretty flat late January and February, March always feels like springing forward.”
“Longer days seem to give me more of an early evening to enjoy, maybe to go for a walk, or potter around in the garden… things that are usually saved for the weekend can be enjoyed after work too!”
“My east-facing back garden gets no sun in the winter. But the coming of spring brings sunshine and warmth to a corner, warm enough to sit in on a mild day. That brings me joy.”
“Spring blossom and cut grass, public gardens opening and spring concerts.”
So how about spring and Happydesigner?
We love spring. Actually, we love all the seasons, but this one – towards the start of the year – is special. We are full of hope and positivity at the Happydesigner team, and Sarah has a spring in her step as she beavers away on her wonderful designs and illustrations.
The first official day of spring is March 20, and don’t forget the clocks go forward – ‘spring’ forward, if you will – on March 28.
If you have a spring in your step and are thinking of penning your first children’s book, or have a book ready (or a work in progress) and want illustrations that perfectly complement the text and bring it to life for young readers, then do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
Written by Jo Smyth (www.wordworker.co.uk)