Title: The Smell of Spring
Author: Mary Ann Hake
Series: Smells of the Seasons
Major Themes: Blindness, Seasons, Spring, Senses, Smell
Synopsis: Even a blind girl can experience the world around her, through the sense of smell.
What a sweet picture book! I read The Smell of Spring to my 8- and 3-year-old daughters, and they both enjoyed it. Because we live in the Southern Hemisphere, we are experiencing fall at the time of this writing rather than spring, but a good share of this story is still applicable in this season.
This beautiful picture book’s main character is a blind girl. Throughout the book, her eyes are closed, so that the reader can remember that she is blind. However, though she can’t see, she can still experience the changing seasons. As she smells a new, unfamiliar smell, her mother explains to her that it is the smell of rain.
The girl goes on to experience many more things. She smells flowers and the muck her dog gets into. Then, she smells delicious Easter eggs, the stench of a skunk, and finally, her favorite smell on her favorite day of spring: her birthday cake!
The pictures in The Smell of Spring are delightful. I love the way the illustrator showed smells wafting through the air. The text is fun, too; each page is written as a rhyming couplet. We loved seeing the girl’s pets. She has a dog and cat, but also a rat and something that looks like a ferret. Other little details in the pictures are fun to spot, as well. My little girls and I had a short discussion about smell and different ways of experiencing the world around us after reading this. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the books in this series!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9