From the Publisher
"A strong graphic presentation is balanced against the clear simplicity of an ingenious text in this captivating picture book." Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
ACORN, BARN and CORN begin these 26 alphabetically arranged acrostic verses. Schnur's (The Shadow Children) text is at its best when it is simplest, and each line of the acrostic helps a child understand how the word contributes to the season, as with JAM ("Jars of freshly made/ Applesauce, jelly, and/ Marmalade sit gleaming on the kitchen shelf") or SNOW ("Stillness/ Now/ Over all the cold/ White world"). Other verses are quite abstract for this age group, such as "Up beyond the/ Night sky, an/ Indigo darkness like/ Velvet/ Embraces the farthest/ Reaches of the mind,/ Sun, moon, stars, /Everything," and some are not unique to autumn. It's Evans's (illustrator of Jerry Pallotta's The Flower Alphabet Book) linoleum-block prints that are the real draw here. Her clean black lines and bold, hand-colored washes evoke Ashley Wolff's style and palette. Ranging from the cozy cupboard view of bottled preserves in JAM to the aerial view of the town green in TRAIN, the illustrations integrate the elements of each acrostic. Ages 3-8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Susan Hoyle Fournier
Exercise your senses by reading this descriptive collection of acrostic poems. The majesty of the fall season is celebrated through vibrant illustrations that perfectly complement each poem. The author explores the richness of the English language through intricate wordplay and creates vivid descriptions of many of autumn's most common sights, sounds, and yearly happenings. From dark evenings and leaves falling from the trees, the letters in each poem conjure images of this special time of year. Schnur's book is an excellent source for the teacher of creative writing. This is a wonderful introduction to the genre of poetry.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Steven Schnur's poetic alphabet acrostics describe Autumn when, for example, "Little remains on/Each maple...and/Aspen tree; ...Vines have shriveled,/Ending another green/Season." Leslie Evans' hand-colored, linoleum-block-prints illustrate this inspiration for similar student word play-seasonal or otherwise.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3Seasonal books are always in demand and this alphabet acrostic will be especially welcome. In clever, poetic verse, a fall riddle is presented for each letter of the alphabet. The answer is spelled out in the first letter of each line. The riddles are spare with striking images as seen in "Bats/And owls/Roost among empty/Nests." The 26 poems cover such chilly-day themes as knitting, frost, leaves, and icicles. The only source of confusion comes with the always challenging letter "X." Schnur uses the Roman numeral "XII" for 12 and the answer to the riddle is "Xylem," a term not familiar to most primary-grade students. Evans's stunning hand-colored linoleum block prints are clear, bright, and provide sharp clues for the riddles, which are placed in a white box right on each illustration. This delightful alphabet book with a new twist will provide inspiration and challenges for a wide audience.Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
A strong graphic presentation is balanced against the clear simplicity of an ingenious text in this captivating picture book. Schnur (Beyond Providence, 1996, etc.) creates an acrostic for each letter of the alphabet on an autumnal theme. For example, for the letter F, "FROST" is spelled by reading the lines vertically; the text reads "From the window the/Rows of/Orange Pumpkins/Seem clothed in/Thin white shawls." The first letters of each line appear in cherry-red type and the rest in black, set in a box on each page of illustration. While the words are not haiku, they partake of the spirit of that poetic form in their spare, direct, and emotionally telling worth. Evans's pictures, executed in hand-colored linoleum cuts, are full of saturated colors with an elegant use of the black line of that medium. Accessible and intimate, they depict people, animals, household objects, and outdoor scenes; warm and cozy, they complement and further define this friendly read-aloud.