Old Bear by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books, 2008)
What a splendid book! This is one of my absolute favorite books I've encountered so far this year. Kevin Henkes gorgeous full-bleed illustrations set the tone for a journey through the seasons. The old bear curls up for hibernation during the winter and takes the reader along with him through his dream of the changing seasons. As spring progresses to summer then fall, winter and back to spring again, the full-page illustrations are saturated in seasonal hues. Even the text shares in the colorful celebration of the season. As the old bear awakes from hibernation, he wonders, "Could it be true? Is it really spring?" The reader will share in the old bear's pure delight in finding that yes, spring has finally come!