"The Smell of Spring" by Mary Hake

 About the Book

Book: The Smell of Spring

Author: Mary Hake

Illustrator: Marina

Genre: Picture Book

Release date: December 15, 2022

In The Smell of Spring, April, a blind girl, enjoys the world around her and discovers spring scents. Join April and her menagerie of pets in their springtime adventures. The Smell of Spring shows children how we experience the world around us through the sense of smell. Kids will enjoy her many interesting pets and can have fun with the activities at the end using the sense of smell.


Click here to get your copy!
What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?
The easiest part for me is the creative word flow. I enjoy finding just the
right words to write—it’s almost like putting together a puzzle, which I also
enjoy. Sometimes I read something I wrote in the past and think, Did I
really write that? When the words spring forth, it’s a joyful experience. I
think this reflects our divine Creator, who made us in His image.
When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
I have loved books as long as I can remember. My mother read books and
poetry to me from my very early days. As soon as I learned how to write, I
began penning my own poems, songs, and stories. In school, my teacher
would let me read my stories to the class.
I have a vivid imagination, and writing always seemed fun to me. Even
writing essays or reports allowed me to be creative. For example, I would
turn writing sentences with spelling words into a story or use as many words
from the list as I could in one sentence. I love to play with words.
The love of reading and writing naturally led to my desire to become a
writer. Teachers also encouraged me in that area. Back in the pre-computer
days when writers had to send in typed copies, I could never create a clean
copy and lacked confidence to submit.
I got married and had children when I was young, and as a busy mother I
didn’t find much time to write. When my daughters were both in college, I
also went to college and earned an associate’s degree in journalism and
mass communications along with taking many creative writing and literature
courses. Through one of my instructors, I also got started editing
professionally, which I continue doing today.
My published work can be found in a multitude of publications for both
children and adults, including Clubhouse Jr., Pockets, and Appleseeds, plus
material in a dozen books. My first picture book, The Smell of Spring, was
published in December, and book two in the Smells of the Seasons series,
The Smell of Summer, will release mid-May 2023.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Ideas pop out from all over. It could be something I see or hear, something
I read, or something watch online, or even from dreams. Often, the time in
bed in the dark before falling asleep seems to open my mind to new ideas or
the way to word something. I have kept a tape recorder by the bed to
capture these because if I write ideas down in the dark (especially without
my glasses) I might not be able to read them the next day. And I easily
forget them by morning.
What is your work schedule/routine when you write?
I write whenever I find (or make) the time. Since I’m retired and home most
of the time, my schedule can be what I make it. But since I also edit for
clients, I must work my writing about editing projects. Much of my current
writing is doing reviews for other authors. Being in a critique group that has
been meeting weekly prompts me to keep producing to have something to
share when we get together. I used to write things out by hand before
typing them up, but now I mostly compose on the desktop computer. I
always take Sundays off from writing endeavors.
Do bits of yourself/friends show up in your characters?
I think it’s impossible not to have this happen. All we experience morphs
together inside us, and a composite of people we interact with may come out
in a character we create. Also, our worldview and life experiences can’t help
but influence our writing. Sometimes, it is a conscious choice to take an
element or experience or personality trait we have observed in ourselves or
others and use that in a character we craft. This may have a purpose in their
story journey or just be for diversity or entertainment. We don’t want all our
characters to be modeled after ourselves or to seem too much alike. With all
of our life experiences, we should have plenty to draw on in order to create
variety in characters and they way they act and talk. That’s another part of
writing that seems fun to me. If I didn’t love writing, I would have given it
up long ago. 

About the Author

Mary Ann Hake has loved learning and writing for as long as she can remember. She has been scribbling stories and poems since she first learned to write and has published hundreds of stories, articles, poems, puzzles, devotions, and more for both children and adults plus written hundreds of book reviews. She loved working in a bookstore and as a librarian and enjoyed reading to children at story times and conducting summer reading programs. She has also taught writing to children and at writers’ conferences. In addition to writing, she continues to work as a freelance editor. Visit her website, www.maryannhake.com, and subscribe to her newsletter for activities for children and updates on future books. Also find her on Facebook at Mary A. Hake author, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057370041720.


More from Mary Ann

I have always loved books and reading, and even as an adult I still enjoy picture books. I had tried writing my own in the past, but The Smell of Spring is the first picture book I have published. The online classes I took during the pandemic and all the years of writers’ conferences, particularly Oregon Christian Writers conferences, have helped me learn and polish my craft. I have published hundreds of pieces, for both children and adults, in a variety of periodicals and a dozen compilation books plus some curricula.


I chose to present this concept book in rhyme because it came out more appealing and fun for kids than straight prose. The Smell of Spring shows how a blind girl uses her sense of smell to experience life around her. Along with her menagerie of pets, April explores her world. The story includes elements that would make it a handy companion text for connection to science: senses, the weather, nature, animals—domestic and wild, flowers and trees, and food. It also models responsibility as April cares for the animals. The Smell of Spring is the first book in the four-book series of Smells of the Seasons.


Readers of all ages are enjoying this fresh look at springtime.

Comments from early readers:

“In sweet, simple prose, with lovely illustrations, this book shows a child how they can appreciate their sense of smell.”

“A delightfully whimsical book that invites children to become mindfully aware of the many smells, both pleasant and unpleasant, that accompany the spring season.”

“A charming way to encounter the season for all children.”
“This was a very delightful book! I loved all the places she found smells in. I also loved how you made the book rhyme. It flowed very smoothly.”
“So well done, from the rhyme to the message.”

“Mary Hake gives the reader insights into what the world is like to a blind girl, who perceives the world through other senses besides sight. The focus on smell may encourage young listeners/readers to pay closer attention to the smells they like or dislike and to be more aware of different aspects of their world. It may also make them more understanding of children with disabilities.”

“Teachers, parents, and children will appreciate the activities at the end of this book.”

“The whole book is full of delightful images and easy-to-read phrases that describe all the many smells. Including some fun relatable parts. I think children will get a kick out of a few of the smells.”


Sign up for updates on my website, https://maryannhake.com/, and received a PDF of activities for children using the sense of smell. Further fun things will be coming in the future.

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 24

Artistic Nobody, March 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 27

Texas Book-aholic, March 28

Lots of Helpers, March 29

Walking Fruitfully, March 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 30

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 31

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 1

Simple Harvest Reads, April 2

For Him and My Family, April 3

Blossoms and Blessings, April 4 (Author Interview)

The Life We Build, April 4

Guild Master, April 5

Vicky Sluiter, April 6 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a signed hardcover copy of The Smell of Spring and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.