The same brother-sister duo from Winter is for Snow (2013) this time looks at fall’s big marker: the start of school.
Whereas the brother was the cheerleader for winter, now it’s the sister talking up all the pros about school—learning about Romans, pyramids, mummies, and prehistoric beasts; recess; studying math; music and art classes; reading and writing stories—while the brother finds only the negatives. Until she starts to talk about the pumpkin drop, that is, and finally gets him to change his mind about school. This outing suffers from some of the same flaws as the first: the rhyming verses are bland and sometimes misfire, the boy’s change of heart is rather sudden, and this is still more of a list than a story. In addition, readers may wonder how this boy’s “baby” sister knows so much about going to school—down to the subjects studied and the special activities they will do—especially since she seems to be pretty advanced with regard to vocabulary and subjects she is familiar with (she is wearing a backpack of her own, so maybe both are returning to school, not starting?). Neubecker’s illustrations show the small girl pontificating while leading her brother to school through the city, her imagined scenes taking up large swaths of the spreads. Both are white redheads. Her verses are in red, while his responses are in blue.
Neubecker should have called it quits after his amazing Wow! School! (2007).