Friday, March 15, 2013

Searching For Spring

This picture book story is for Susanna Hill’s “Just Spring” Contest.  The entry has to be under 350 words (I barely made it with 349) and end with the line, “[character name] knew spring was here at last!”  The deadline is March 18th.  To read more about the contest visit http://www.susannahill.blogspot.com/   Wish me luck!  


Sybil was tired of winter.

She was tired of her puffy pink coat.

She was tired of wet socks and runny noses.

She was tired of gray skies, bare trees, and crusty snow.

Sybil was ready for spring.

One morning her dad announced, “Today is March 20th, the first day of spring!”

Sybil squealed in delight and rushed to the door expecting to find apple tree blossoms, sprouting daffodils, and warm rays of sunlight.

Instead she found empty branches, patches of snow, and a cold gust of wind.

She slammed the door and turned angrily to her dad.  “You lied,” she said.  “It’s not spring.” 

“Sybil,” her dad said bending next to her, “Spring doesn’t come all at once.  It may not look like spring now, but keep your eyes peeled.  Soon you will see signs of spring.”

Sybil was disappointed, but she liked the idea of searching for signs.  “You mean like clues?”  She asked.

“Sure,” said her dad.  “You can be a detective.”

Sybil took her detective work very seriously.  Each morning she stepped outside in search of spring.

On Monday, the snow melted off their roof, but it still felt like winter.  Spring had not come.

On Tuesday, the sun shone brightly all day long, but Sybil remained unconvinced.  Spring had not come.

On Wednesday she did not need to wear her puffy pink coat.  Sybil was happy to leave it behind, but winter still hung in the air.  Spring had not come.

On Thursday the snow patches on their lawn disappeared.  She felt hopeful, but it was not enough. Spring had not come.

On Friday her teacher told the class to “Enjoy Spring this weekend!” But Sybil thought to herself, “It’s still winter.”  Spring had not come.

On Saturday she saw a robin pecking at worms in the grass and thought, “That is a good sign.” But she was looking for something more.  Spring had not come. 

On Sunday she spotted three tiny green sprouts reaching toward the sky.  This was the sign Sybil had been looking for.  She knew Spring was here at last!




That's all folks!  Thanks so much for reading.  If you would like to see my illustration process go to http://heatherdentstudio.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-illustrating-process.html  I had a lot of trial and error!



40 comments:

  1. LOL! I know how Sybil feels some years when it's stil freezing and snowy on March 20th. Her daddy is very wise. :)

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    1. Thank you Teresa! The story is loosely based after my experience with my dad when I was little.

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  2. I love the changes you've made Heather! This is terrific!

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    1. Thank you! I really appreciated your feedback. The story is not exactly where I want it to be because of the word count limitations, but your comments helped me change it for the better.

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  3. I really love the drawing - perfect for this 'detective' story!

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    1. Thank you! I loved your drawing for the Food Fight story with that cute little rabbit!

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  4. Great job! I enjoyed it Heather! Loved the idea of her being a little detective. :) Loved your illustration too!!

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  5. Combining signs of spring with detective work is very clever. And I like the weekday progression. Great story!

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    1. Thank you Laura! My two year old son really likes the "Very Hungry Caterpillar" and I've been reading it a lot lately. The rhythm of that book has been stuck in my head lately so I applied it. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  6. Heather...you have so many wonderful elements here...I really enjoyed reading it! Love the detective slant...so unique! Your illustration fits the story perfectly...you have a lot of talent.:)

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    1. Thank you Vivian! I've wanted to be a children's book author and illustrator ever since I was a kid, but I've only recently got up the gumption to pursue this dream. Thanks for the words of encouragement. It means a lot.

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  7. What a great idea, Heather! I love the concept of her being a detective and looking for the signs of spring like clues. And isn't it so true that the first day of spring so often feel much more like winter. You have captured Sybil's emotions well. Thanks for a great entry. And I love the accompanying art :)

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    1. Thank you Susanna! Also thank you for setting up this whole contest! It's been a lot of fun, and given me an opportunity to further explore my talents as a picture book writer/illustrator. I am so very happy I stumbled upon your blog! It has been a treasure.

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  8. I know just how Sybil feels.....-8 here today and windy windy windy...where IS spring hiding?

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    1. Thank you! I've noticed that both our stories started out very similarly. We both are ready for spring to come out of hiding! -8 degrees must be terrible! Where I live the temperature hasn't gone below 15 so I can only imagine.

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  9. Very nice approach to Spring -- looking for clues. I enjoyed Sybil's journey very much. So child-like.

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    1. Thank you Patricia! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I've always been a big fan of Sherlock Holmes so it seemed appropriate to sneak some detective work into the story somewhere.

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  10. I liked watching Sybil solve the mystery of spring. Yes, new life is always a welcome sign of change of season. :)

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    1. Thank you! I love your blog by the way. I spent a little time browsing, and I love some of the activities you've suggested! I have a two year old son so I'm always looking for new ideas.

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  11. Terrific opening, with lines growing then back to the shorter, "Sybil was ready for Spring." Super illustration and cool detective story, Heather.

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    1. Thank you Joanna! I was pleased with the way the structure turned out. thanks for noticing!

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  12. Love your illustration . . . it's darling.
    I wonder if Quiggle and Sybil crossed paths in their search For Spring. :D

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  13. Love that Sybil is a detective in search of signs of spring. Sybil echoes the sentiment of so many of us. Really good entry. Love the artwork too.

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    1. Thank you Pam! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  14. Such a sweet story! I love the idea of a "spring detective.

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    1. Thank you Andrea! I just read your story and loved it! Well done!

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  15. Things do seem to happen so slowly when one is young! She knew the clues she wanted, though.

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    1. Thank you! Spring comes slowly even when we're older, but there seems to be so much more anticipation when we're young.

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  16. Terrific detective work! I've been doing the same thing and it's wonderful to see green where it wasn't the day before. Just have to keep our eyes peeled!

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    1. Thank you Donna! I'm so glad you found time to stop by and read my little story.

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  17. Excellent days-of-the-week story! I really enjoyed it.

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    1. Thank you Penny! Perhaps the robin Sybil saw pecking at worms was May or Fran finishing off their delicious picnic!

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  18. Sybil is quite a character! I would read more of her. Perhaps she needs to teach/learn other concepts too?!

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    1. Thank you! I love your blog by the way. You have a unique voice that is delightful to read and relatable. I have a two year old boy so I greatly sympathize with other writing moms. It is so difficult to find time to do everything!

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  19. so cute, Heather :) and I love that it's based on real life from you and your dad :)

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    1. Thanks Denise! Most everything I write is based off of personal experience. I'm not yet brave enough to venture into a completely fictional world.

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  20. I love all the signs, Heather! Why is it we are all so impatient for Spring?

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  21. Thank you! I don't think any of us grows out of becoming impatient for spring.

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