A rhyming picture book about the cycle of nature’s seasons.
The prolific Yolen uses spare, poetic words to weave a story of the seasonal changes in the natural world. As the lilting narrative unspools in a playful, delicate way, the creation of mood is paramount: "Snow, snow, / shiver and blow. / Icicle popsicles / drip, drop, and dropsicles.” Illustrator Ashlock matches Yolen in poetic atmosphere with her watercolor-and-pencil double-page spreads, which present a lush and decorative natural world. Don’t expect scientific accuracy with these—a flattened perspective often means that fawns are the size of baby robins, and animals and plants are piled higgledy-piggledy together in stylized vignettes. But a scientific presentation of the natural world is not the point. Instead, readers are invited to enter into a communion with nature—encouraged visually by the small humans present in many of the illustrations that are otherwise dominated by flora and fauna. The meter sometimes stumbles—“Turn the heat on, / then winter is gone”—but the overall sentiment succeeds. The well-designed book has notably thick, richly printed pages and exceptionally pleasing proportions. While many nature books for children are anthropomorphic or didactic, this one celebrates nature and its ability to inspire awe and appreciation.
This lovely book introduces young readers to the poetry of words, art, and nature—it’s a welcome addition. (Picture book. 3-7)