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BELLA'S FALL COAT by Lynn Plourde Kirkus Star


by Lynn Plourde ; illustrated by Susan Gal

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4847-2697-6
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

An exuberant girl leaps into the joys of seasonal change with her loving grandmother.

Bella is growing, but she wants things to last forever, such as the crunchy autumn leaves, the geese that fill the sky, and especially her beloved old coat. Whenever Grams kindly mentions the need for a new coat, there’s a “WHOOSH,” “WHIZZ,” or “ZOOM” as the ruddy-complexioned child sprints out the door to play in the natural world. Each trip outside brings delight; each return, the opportunity to bond with Grams. Plourde’s lovely text about the ephemeral nature of objects and seasons—and the lasting love of family—is beautifully realized by Gal’s expressive, digital collage illustrations. Vibrant and spontaneous, they recall Keats and Isadora. Cleverly, she contrasts the cool blue tones of the girl’s outfit against the autumn-colored orange of fall, then flops the contrast as the seasons change. Bella’s joie de vivre emanates from the page, her wavy, often wild, blue-black hair a perfect extension of its vivacious owner. But Gal also captures the tender, quiet moments: Grams asleep under the warm glow of a lamp, the new coat she’s made in her lap, and the loving twosome walking hand in hand under a pink, purple dusky sky.

Adults may feel nostalgia over seasons past—and young readers will be introduced to the enticing lure of autumn and the joys of sharing it with someone they love

. (Picture book. 3-5)