Debbie Ouellet - Author & Poet


How Robin Saved Spring

I'm delighted to tell you about my children's book, How Robin Saved Spring, published by Henry Holt and Company, which came out in 2009. It was named a Horace Mann Upstander Honor Book for 2009 at their Children's Literature Conference in July 2010. Cookie Magazine named How Robin Saved Spring Book of the Month in their April 2009 issue. also named How Robin Saved Spring Pick of the Month for April 2009. In 2013, How Robin Saved Spring was re-issued in Chinese and was named a 2013 Three YeCao Moms & Babies' Choice Top Ten Book.

How Robin Saved Spring

Written by: Debbie Ouellet

Illustrated by: Nicoletta Ceccoli

If Lady Winter has her way, the world will stay covered in blankets of snowy white and icy blue. Sister Spring will slumber forever and the winter will never end. Can Lady Winter really keep spring from coming, or is there something the animals might do to help? Led by harbinger Robin, the animals are determined to be successful in waking Sister Spring, but what price will they
each have to pay? Through beautiful words and pictures, this enchanting tale about the battle of the seasons highlights one very special bird who saves much more than just the day.

Nicoletta Ceccoli studied at the State Institute of Art in Urbino, Italy, and is the award-winning illustrator of many books for children, including The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum by Kate Bernheimer and Horns and Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson. She was awarded the silver medal by the Society of Illustrators and won the Andersen Prize, honoring her as the best children’s book illustrator in Italy. She lives in San Marino, Italy.


Creating How Robin Saved Spring

The idea for How Robin Saved Spring came about during a writing exercise I was performing as part of a writing course. I was taking a walk through the neighbourhood, jotting down as many details about what I found, trying to use all my senses. It was early spring and a robin landed on the lawn (the first robin I’d seen this particular spring). Robins have always been special to me—my maiden name is Robins. I was trying to describe the sounds he made. When he made that throaty sound between warbles, I decided that is sounded like ‘UP, UP, UP’. I got the fanciful idea that he was running around waking things up after a long cold winter. My first idea was to write a short story about this and send it off to a magazine. Terry Harshman, the editor of Turtle Magazine, rejected the story but suggested I expand it and try sending it out to book publishers as a picture book instead. Henry Holt and Company accepted the manuscript shortly after that.

For more information, or to order How Robin Saved Spring, visit:

Reader Reviews 

To read a review of How Robin Saved Spring, visit:

The blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

The Montreal Gazette

“girl with a book”

“Book Notes-Minnesota State University”

“Not Just for Kids”

Westchester Library System