"It's Fall!" (Millbrook Press, 2001)
"It's Winter!" (Millbrook Press, 2002)
"It's Spring!" (Millbrook Press, 2002)
"It's Summer!" (Millbrook Press, 2003)
Written by Linda Glaser
Illustrated by Susan Swan
The seasons are celebrated in this exuberant quartet of books... Graphically striking cut-paper artwork sets them apart.. The style might not be for everyone, but I like it. Like many let's-appreciate-nature books, this one gets a little bogged down in details at time, but for those of us with scientific and green-loving personalities, this is a fine series. (A)
Written by Myra Cohn Livingston
Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
(Holiday House, 2007)
A very pretty book with very few words. Ms. Livingston's poem in praise of the passing of the months was written in 1959 and clocks in at a mere fifty-five words; Will Hillenbrand's new, modern artwork makes the most of this sparseness, and each month gets a gorgeous, two-page spread (except December, which gets seven pages, so that Santa can slide down the chimney at the end...) The timing is a little off: the text flits by instantaneously, while the artwork really demands you drink it in, so you may find yourself extemporizing to come up with a reason to linger on the images. That's okay, though -- I think this one can stand up to repeat readings. Certainly a nice way to teach about the months and the passing of of the year. (B)
"A Summery Saturday Morning"
Written by Margaret Mahy
Illustrated by Selina Young
A nice evocation of nature and relaxed family outings. A mother takes a bunch of children for a walk through some hills and across a field down to a local beach. When they get there, their dogs run afoul of a flock of geese, and the field trip has to be called off... The artwork strongly reminded me of trips I've taken to a local beach, and the book has a nice sense of joyfulness, wonder and good cheer. Not a profound book, but nice and very positive in tone.
"I Am A Bunny"
Written by Ole Risom
Illustrated by Richard Scarry
(Golden Books, 1963)
A beautifully illustrated book showing a little bunny named Nicholas going through the seasons of the year -- picking flowers and chasing butterflies in the Spring, blowing dandelion seeds in the Summer, watching leaves fall in the Autumn, etc. The text is about as simple as you can get, but the artwork is extraordinary. Readers who are used to Richard Scarry's simpler, cartoonish work in his own books will be swept away by these gorgeously rich, detailed paintings. There is a sense of expansiveness and magic that's an utter delight. Don't rely on any of the truncated Golden Book anthologies for this story... You'll definitely want the full version; the rectangular board book is quite handsome and user-friendly. Risom also authored I Am A Fox, I Am A Puppy, etc., but most of the other books in the series feature other artists: this is one of Scarry's greatest works. (A)
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