Simple, colorful block prints are accompanied by words and phrases in bold primary print, with the English countryside’s changing seasons in the background.
The diminutive book starts in spring, with a cheerful double-page spread of flowers and the word “Flowers.” The next spread shows a boy watering a green plant, accompanied by the word “Gardening.” The layout is pleasingly consistent, using all double-page spreads and showing all words in bold, green letters. Phrases such as “Fruit and vegetables” are obvious labels, while there are other pages that add whimsical fun. For example, a bright orange tabby is called “The neighbour’s cat,” and the illustration of a girl with a piece of grass in her mouth and cherries dangling from her ears simply says, “Cherries.” (Later, the same smiling girl, sans cherries, is used to illustrate “Swing.”) Children in the U.S. will readily recognize the Halloween pumpkin and winter snowman and will be tickled by the less-familiar blue hedgehog waddling in between those sets of pages, a pear lightly perched on its back. Several of the illustrations create opportunities for the youngest children to learn new vocabulary, as older readers help them identify all the tools, insects, vegetables, or leaves. Both children depicted are white.
With its combination of miscellaneous sight words, concept groupings, and attractive pictures, this is a useful book for reading readiness. (Picture book. 2-4)