Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Seasons

Seasons
written and illustrated by Anne Crausaz
(Kane Miller) 2011 - March 1st publication
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Seasons is a vibrant French import that features a rosy-cheeked little girl guiding the reader through different attributes of the four seasons. For example, in summer, "new smells are growing in the vegetable garden: tomato and basil, verbena and mint." Author and illustrator Anne Crausaz uses digital pictures to help set the mood for each season. The artwork and text easily take you back to earlier years and places where you have experienced particular sensations connected to a season. When I see the young girl in a blackberry patch, I think back to picking blackberries as a child and the joy of eating blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. The springtime illustrations make me think of beautiful flowering trees like the dogwood. In class today I read to my students about Leo Lionni's Frederick who gathers the colors and the words of the seasons to help his mouse family make it through the harsh winter. Seasons is my Frederick at the moment, giving me wonderful memories of each of the four seasons. 

If you teach a unit on change, this book would be a superb addition to your collection. We're currently talking to our students about using "sparkle" words to create better visuals in our writing. Seasons would be a helpful resource in your teaching if you are trying to do this. Instruction to young children about similes could also be boosted by an examination of this text and illustrations.

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