BUSY SPRING, NATURE WAKES UP
by Sean Taylor and Alex Morss, Published by Words and Pictures 16th March 2021
Has the promise of spring, with the sunlight, warmth and new life it brings, ever felt so welcome as it does this year?
Spring sunshine is nature’s alarm clock, telling wildlife to wake up after winter. You can see, hear and smell the signs of newness as the season arrives with a rush of energy. Darkness is chased away earlier each morning. Crisp, cold air becomes milder. Warm winds blow in. Ice melts. Rivers swell. Stormy showers and morning dew bring fresh water.
What gives spring these characteristics? Why does it trigger a burst of busyness in plants and animals? How do they help each other to grow and develop?
In BUSY SPRING, NATURE WAKES UP, Alex Morss and I answer these and other questions, through a combination that is two thirds fictional narrative and one third information spreads.
The book is a follow-up to our Kate-Greenaway-Medal-nominated WINTER SLEEP, A HIBERNATION STORY. And, like that title, it features stunning, life-rich illustrations by Cinyee Chiu.
Alex and I know each other from having children at the same primary school and living on neighbouring streets, in Bristol. She is an ecologist, journalist, educator and campaigning environmentalist with an incredible knowledge of plants and animals. I am a creative writer, poet and storyteller and, in the course of publishing 60 books for children, I’ve learned a bit about drawing young readers in through narrative, character and the music of imaginative language.
Three and a half years ago, Alex and I were chatting at a birthday party and a seed was sown. We felt curious about what might come out of a writing collaboration which brought together our different skill- and knowledge-sets under the umbrella of a shared love of the natural world.
Three books to have grown from that seed. There may be more.
We hope that our combined input is a formula which engages, delights and informs young readers in equal measure. And we’d like to think that BUSY SPRING will feed into a post-pandemic wake-up for all, promised by the spring months ahead.