WONDERFALL by Michael Hall
Kirkus Star


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review


Using the point of view of a tree as his visual constant, Hall offers 15 poems inspired by mashed-up words—“Peacefall,” “Plentifall,” and so on—to discover autumn’s many delights.

Days come and go as an unnamed tree observes life and everything else that goes on all around it. The first few double-page spreads set up the languid pace: the drop of acorns, the beginning of a new school year. Soon, some of the tree’s leaves change color. “Autumn / colors, / all around. / And look / (rustle, rustle)— / I’m dressed / for the / season, / too.” The spare text knits a tapestry of gentle, joyous scenes. Trick-or-treaters pass by wearing ghoulish masks, a pair of raccoons feasts on a slice of pumpkin pie, and children play with the fallen leaves. Hall’s digital artwork employs a bold palette on white and soft- to deep-blue backgrounds, accentuating the text’s warmly affectionate tone. Various animals weave in and out of each scenario, including a pair of spirited squirrels with a preference for acorns. Each turn of the page enfolds readers into the passage of time. As the tree says goodbye to migrating geese, the narrative becomes even quieter. “See / the mist. / Hear / the quiet. / Smell / the cold.” Readers know just what’s around the corner. Concluding notes on the various critters the tree observes add some scientific punch.

A haunting journey through autumn and a lovely triumph. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-238298-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2016


ChildrenFRANKENCRAYON by Michael Hall
by Michael Hall
ChildrenRED by Michael Hall
by Michael Hall
ChildrenIT'S AN ORANGE AARDVARK! by Michael Hall
by Michael Hall
ChildrenCAT TALE by Michael Hall
by Michael Hall


ChildrenAND THEN IT'S SPRING by Julie Fogliano
by Julie Fogliano
ChildrenTHE CURIOUS GARDEN by Peter Brown
by Peter Brown
ChildrenGREEN by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
by Laura Vaccaro Seeger