Simple, elegant watercolors and rhymed text convey the magic of the seasons and the elements.
A preschool-age child, their family, and their friends illustrate the sights, sounds, smells, and favorite activities they associate with each of the four seasons. The text is poetic but deceptively simple; the rhyme scheme for each of the four segments is the simple cadence of a limerick: “Mud makes me dance in the spring. / I fly up to the sky in my swing. / Let’s poke holes and plant peas / on our wet muddy knees. / In the quince bush, two little birds sing.” There is a lovely economy to the watercolor illustrations, with bold black outlines partially filled in and punctuated with warm sweeps and dabs of color. The images capture the warmth of family life and the richness of seasons shared in outdoor play with friends. Agell portrays the seasons as experienced in coastal New England. Children play in grassy fields, on the beach, or running in the woods, and they live in warm, cozy houses. There is nary a hint of urban existence to be found; while the cast is fairly inclusive (the protagonist child is white, but they interact with children and adults of color), the experience depicted is less so.
Though the specific experiences are not universal, there is an intrinsic appeal to sun, snow, mud, and play that broadens this book’s reach. (Board book. 2-5)