Today A Fuse #8 Production referred to her Triumverate of Mediocrity, which included The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. I've never read Rainbow Fish, but when I was working in an elementary school last week, I sat in on story time for one of the kindergarten classes. The book they heard was Pfister's Hopper Hunts for Spring.
Personally, I prefer picture books that are a little edgy and twisted, like A Day With Wilbur Robinson. Hopper Hunts for Spring definitely does not fall into the edgy and twisted category. A rabbit named Hopper is told that spring is coming. He takes that to mean that "someone" (or some creature) is on his way there, and he takes off to meet Spring. He then meets various hibernating creatures that come out in the spring. But who are not Spring. The whole little story is built around the poor bunny's misunderstanding, but spring has arrived when it's finished.
Not a whole lot there. In fact, if you look at the Amazon listing, you'll see that School Library Journal gave it a pretty blistering review.
But the kids I was sitting with were really into it. One little girl tried to get ahead of the story and tell what she thought was going to happen. And the book could support a nature lesson about spring for really young kids.
As I sat there on the little risers with those little kids, I wondered if there was really anything wrong with that little story. Yeah, maybe it was on the sappy side for my taste. But the book wasn't for me.
I just have a really hard time with the whole picture book thing. Which is probably why I've been so unsuccessful at writing one.