Alice, who formerly discovered The Secrets of the Garden (2012), is back to explore the seasons with her friend Zack and her little brother, Pete (and, of course, the two intelligent chickens that provide expert commentary).
When Zack brings Alice’s attention to the fact that sunsets are getting earlier, it is the start of the children’s yearlong exploration of the seasons. Humans in the story make observations about the sun, the seasons, the lengths of days, the changing weather and the activities of the animals around them, sometimes linking them to things they have learned in school. Meanwhile, Maisy and Daisy present readers with the nitty-gritty of the science, cleverly using flashlights and globes to explain the Earth’s movements simply and teaching kids about migrating birds, the solstices and equinoxes, and the fact that the seasons are opposite for the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Lamont’s pen-and-watercolor illustrations focus on the seasonal indicators that will be familiar to most readers—tracks in the snow, leaves on the trees, robins, migrating geese, etc. Daisy and Maisy may be the comic relief, but their simple diagrams and explanations are standouts.
Incorporating both a story and solid science in an engaging way, this is an accessible and welcome addition to the sometimes-confusing reasons-for-the-seasons shelf. (Informational picture book. 4-9)