A vivid celebration of the seasons through acrostic poetry.
Rooting her exploration of time’s passage in events taking place in the natural world, Pignat charts “amazing growth and wondrous deeds / now promised in these tiny seeds” planted both in the literal soil and readers’ imaginations through her lyric acrostic poems and Thisdale’s evocative pastoral illustrations. Twenty-five words run vertically down the thin volume’s pages—“germinate,” “deciduous,” “knots,” and “bushel” among them—introducing new terms and concepts while subtly guiding these haikulike lyrics through the seasons, with spare lines extending from each initial letter like branches. Finding the promise of a continuum in even the slightest natural occurrence or state of being, Pignat showcases the cyclical nature of existence: “Somehow each ending is not the / End, / Even / Death / Scatters new beginnings.” Throughout the work, Thisdale’s sumptuously colored and detailed mixed-media double-page spreads deftly underscore Pignat’s focus on the continuity of being, not only by depicting how a seed transforms from sapling to tree to bearer of fruit to kindling, but by subtly suggesting the stages of human life by following the silhouette of a boy in spring through adolescence in summer, to a man harvesting apples in fall before shuffling off into the distance in the snow.
Aside from the somewhat corny title, Pignat and Thisdale’s joint effort yields a rewarding and engagingly layered introduction to the life cycle and poetic form. (Picture book/poetry. 3-8)