Friday, February 02, 2007

Our Seasons

Our Seasons by Grace Lin and Ranida T. McKneally, illustrated by Grace Lin, 2006

In this part of Texas we do have four seasons. They are Hot & Humid, Downpour, Open-Window-Day (usually a day in the traditional Fall and Spring where we all open our windows to let in the beautiful fresh air and then slam them shut,) and Cool. I am not complaining, that is just the way it is. The friendliest folks in the world live here and if the weather was different, we couldn't afford our homes.

This year however, we have also managed to squeeze in winter. January 2007 (and now February) has been so gray and cold and rainy that people are starting to suffer the kind of cabin fever and semi-depression that is usually reserved for snow bound folks up north. We are just not used to so many days in a row of gloom, chill and rain. This seems like a good time to bring a terrific book to the attentions of school librarians who are looking for new resources for the first grade "Seasons" unit or haiku poetry.

Lin and McKneally have crafted a different kind of "seasons" book. Autumn, winter, spring and summer are described with haiku verse and illustrated with scenes of children enjoying the time of year. There are also questions and scientific explanations for aspects of the seasons, like "Why do my cheeks turn red in the cold?" or "Why do bees like flowers?" Kids in this part of the world would probably like to know the answer to "Why is the air sticky?" The book would pair with Chris Van Allsburg's The Stranger as Lin beautifully illustrates frost on the window and the book answers the question, "Why is there frost on the window?" Alas, the concept of Jack Frost is hard to relate to here on the coastal plain.

Grace Lin's signature use of texture and pattern evokes childhood with every brush stroke and the clear beautiful colors will engage readers.

This is a Gotta-have-it for school libraries.

Grace Lins blogs at Pacyforest

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really liked this book, too, Camille, and agree with you: it's a must for school libraries.

Your descriptions of Texas seasons are hilarious.