How do you greet a season?
A young child in pigtails and an older man, presumably their father or grandfather, make autumnal observations and reflect on their adventure in this poetic selection. From spotting porcupines to watching squirrels, munching on apples to touching ticklish mums (the floral kind), and picking pumpkins to jumping in piles of leaves, this dazzling duo takes advantage of all that fall has to offer, greeting every element. In a whimsical touch, they may even hear the season laughing back. The main characters are white-skinned and rosy-cheeked, while some brown faces appear around the table at the end for a special feast. The narrative decision to use the past tense is an interesting if not entirely effective one, as a young audience is generally more focused on present than past. Moreover, the repeated use of the word “we” leaves some ambiguity about whether it’s the child or the adult describing and eliciting memories about the events, and the tale concludes on a rather saccharine note: “Together, we savored the tender treasures we’d found when we greeted fall: BEAUTY, BOUNTY, WONDER, // And LOVE.”
Still, the story’s lyricism and warmth, coupled with the colorful, cartoonlike illustrations, will leave readers with a smile and perhaps some interesting observations of their own about the magic of fall. (Picture book. 2-5)