Picture Book: Review of How Mama Brought the Spring

Title: How Mama Brought the Spring
Author: Fran Manushkin
Illustrator: Holly Berry
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Year: 2008
Ages: 5+

Rosy Levine wakes up to a cold and snowy morning in Chicago. She doesn’t want to get up. Her mother decides to tell her a story about how "Grandma Beatrice brought spring to Minsk." As it turns out, Rosy's mother also had trouble waking up to the harsh winters in Minsk, where the snowdrifts almost touched the sky. Grandma Beatrice had a secret recipe to make her get out of bed. Mother and daughter sing a traditional song and make magic happen in the kitchen with the secret recipe. They happily "pour, swirl, sizzle, and flip!" When the Papa arrives, the family enjoys the delicious secret treat. Spring comes back to Minsk!


My daughters and I enjoyed this story a lot! We got immersed in the story and felt like we were cooking the secret recipe with the characters in Minsk. We even acted out the lines: "Pour, swirl, sizzle, and flip!" The author, Fran Manushkin, did an excellent job of bringing this tradition to life.

My family loves cooking and baking. I usually make desserts with my daughters so they felt drawn to the story. Now they want to make the secret recipe included at the end of the book. ***Spoiler*** The secret recipe is for blintzes!

We also loved Holly Berry's cozy and folksy illustrations. I appreciated that she went into detail to make the readers feel as if they were in Minsk. The color palette used is beautiful too because it gives an air of tradition. I really recommend this book.

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