A Child's Calendarby John Updike, Nancy E. Burkert
From the short, frozen days of January, through the long green days of June, to the first light snowflakes of December, here are poems for all twelve months of the year. Each celebrates the familiar but nonetheless wondrous qualities that make a time of the year unique. Vibrant paintings follow the members of a busy, contented family and their friends through the seasons, capturing their affection for one another along with the snowy quiet of winter, the newness of spring, the still heat of summer, and the crispness of autumn.
- Random House Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Age Range:
- 5 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Trina Schart Hyman was born in 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and attended the Philadelphia College of Art, the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, and the School for Applied Art in Stockholm, Sweden. She has illustrated more than one hundred books for children. Her work has received the Caldecott Medal, Caldecott Honor awards, and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award. She lives in New Hampshire.
John Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania, and studied at Harvard College and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England. The author of more than forty books, his works include collections of short stories, poems, and criticism. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in Massachusetts.
- Date of Birth:
- March 18, 1932
- Date of Death:
- January 27, 2009
- Place of Birth:
- Shillington, Pennsylvania
- Place of Death:
- Beverly Farms, MA
- A.B. in English, Harvard University, 1954; also studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England
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Today, many children only know about poetry from Dr. Seuss. A Child's Calendar is a rich introduction to the imagery of poetry that has entranced all who listen since the days of wandering story tellers and shamen. In this volume, classic New England situations and events are beautifully illustrated in warm, heavily inked water colors showing beautiful brown and pink faces amid nature's wonders. Although no one would buy this volume solely for the poetry, the resulting book of illustrated verses makes for the raw material for a garden of happy memories tended by reading to your child (or grandchild) and listening while she or he learns to read to you. Each month is featured, beginning with January, with a brief poem and two beautiful illustrations spread over two pages. The illustrations are clearly well deserving of the Caldecott Honor. I found some of the imagery particularly meaningful, and these lines are included below: January -- 'The sun a spark/Hung thin between/The dark and dark.' February -- 'And snapping, snipping/Scissors run/To cut out hearts.' March -- 'The timid earth/Decides to thaw.' April -- 'All things renew./All things begin.' May -- 'And Daddy may/Get out his hoe/To plant tomatoes/In a row.' June -- 'In golden hours,/Silver days.' July -- 'Bang-bang! Ka-boom!' August -- 'The pavement wears/Popsicle stains.' September -- 'The breezes taste of apple peel.' October -- 'Frost bites the lawn.' November -- 'The ground is hard,/As hard as stone.' December -- 'We were fat penguins,/Warm and stiff.' The subjects of sun, earth, plants, animals, and change recur in almost each poem. One of the charms of this book is that it makes the harsh weather interesting and appealing, helping a child understand the balanced nature of the year and his or her role in that balance. For someone who lives in a warm climate year round this book will seem very magical. After you have finished enjoying the book, I suggest that you and your child partner discuss other cycles that she or he has noticed. You could talk about the daily cycle of the sun, the monthly cycle of the moon, the twice daily tides, or even three meals a day. Young people often have trouble developing a perception of context for what is going on around them. This book an
Saw this at school when subbing and ordered it for grandsons ages 17 months and four. Hope it will be a joy to them as it was for me.