A pretty pair of ideas makes a very nice read-aloud: Tiny snippets of Shakespeare form the text for an illustrated almanac.
Whitt creates fastidiously detailed cut-and-paste, origami and collage images to complement the Bard's words. The book opens with “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Readers see children on the beach flying kites and building sandcastles, watched by a woman with a book. The beachscape is visually anchored by the head of a woman with long hair, hinting that this may be a memory. The Winter’s Tale’s “mints, savory, marjoram; / The marigold” finds three little girls amid the flowers and green. “Earth’s increase” from The Tempest is a bounty of pumpkins and veggies; “bareness everywhere” comes after a Christmas scene. “The purest spring is not so free from mud” depicts mud-luscious splashing and a pair of yellow boots framing a single crocus. In spring, there is a wedding—“Sweet lovers love the spring,” from As You Like It. A final double-page spread flows from a proposal to a pregnancy to children to teens to an elder couple through the seasons: crocus to primroses to autumn leaves to snow and back to crocuses again. The longest quote is eight lines but most are four or less, and read aloud with the images, they are easily accessible even to very young children.
Just lovely. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)