Kirkus Reviews QR Code
NATURE’S PAINTBOX by Patricia Thomas


A Seasonal Gallery of Art and Verse

by Patricia Thomas & illustrated by Craig Orback

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-8225-6807-0
Publisher: Millbrook

Considering nature as artistic medium, Thomas opens with a poem about nature sketching winter; Orback illustrates it so, adding bits of color on succeeding pages. The warmth of the final winter page leads the reader into spring. Here the conceit is that nature “draws spring in pastel chalk” and softly colored pages reflect the poetry about the births of animals and buds on trees. Spring ends with rain and leads into summer’s watercolors. These pictures are much more vibrant than during spring: “Summer colors sparkle.” When Thomas begins her poem about autumn, the illustrations are oils in large blotches of fiery oranges and yellows. And Thomas crowds names of colors into long words: “redorangepurplebronze / indigogoldgreen. . . .” Finally, the poem returns full circle to winter’s black-and-white ink drawings. There is a strikingly rare synergy between the poetry and the illustrations in this truly remarkable addition to the pantheon of books on the four seasons for school-aged children. (Poetry. 7-11)