Seasonal poems, dominated by summer themes, paint pictures of exploring nature and enjoying kid-friendly activities in this picture book from the team of Howell and Povarchik (Shimmer, Songs of Night, 2017).
Beginning with leaves frozen beneath the surface of a pond and the sorceress of spring taking over from winter’s snow fairy, these poems of sunlight and balmy days mix the magical and the ordinary—and sometimes make the ordinary seem magical. Howell’s linguistic twists and turns are a delight for the tongue, especially in poems that praise the “slosh,” “muck,” and “murk” of mud, or a “twirling, rolling, cartwheeling” journey to find polliwogs. The poetry form sometimes changes; though most of the pieces rhyme, haiku and free verse are also featured. The vivid imagery in Howell’s verse is echoed in Povarchik’s watercolor-and-ink images, which feature cartoonish children, animals, and fairies in brightly colored moments of whimsy. Although a variety of settings, including beach, city, and woods, are included, all the human characters have pale skin. To accommodate the illustrations, some poems are presented in smaller fonts, giving them a squished look on the page. That is unlikely to stop poetry lovers in the 6 to 12 age group, who will find plenty of tongue-tangling rhymes and rhythms to relish.
A charming celebration of the sun’s warmth and glow, perfect for sharing and reading aloud.