As a mother and daughter enjoy “a golden, windy autumn day,” the daughter urges her mother to “say it.”
Their walk in a countryside full of fall’s beauty is punctuated by a series of small activities such as kicking up leaves, and by amiable encounters with, first, a small black kitten and later, an obviously familiar big dog. Masterful imagery in the text includes “and the trees in the pond shivered into a million zigzagging streaks of color.” The mother uses some delicious phrases, such as, “It’s a golden, shining, splendiferous day!” Voake’s pen-and-ink with watercolor illustrations perfectly complement the mood set by Zolotow’s text, which combines love and camaraderie with the exhilaration of a sunny, crisp day. The artwork is so well-executed that simple lines clearly communicate such emotions as tenderness and trust on faces and in posture. The layout is handsome, from text placement to endpapers. The mother’s gently teasing responses to the little girl’s insistent “Say it” conclude with a sweet reminder to little ones who are looking at the pictures and listening to their favorite grown-up read the book. The only disappointment for those who remember the original, equally endearing, illustrations by James Stevenson might be that the characters are again portrayed as decidedly of European descent.
Zolotow's text was first published in 1980, but it still resonates with today’s parents and children, particularly as imagined by Voake. (Picture book. 3-5)