Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
Children's LiteratureFollowing the months in a year is not a new concept for a picture book but this attempt is refreshingly new and sure to delight its young audience. Each month features a short rhyme followed by an invitation for the reader to find certain things within the picture. Across the bottom of the page are the names of the items that can be found with keen eyes searching the picture. For example, in February the reader is asked to find mittens, a snowman, and sleds, among other things. What fun, then, to name all of the found items before turning the page to find a whole new challenge ahead! Preschoolers will be captivated by the rhymes and the seek-and-find and will begin to gain an understanding of the months in a year. Those children who are just beginning to read and are busy acquiring sight words will mine this rich source of new words and add more and more of them to their cache. Carluccio's illustrations feature bright, engaging colors that will attract the young reader. Each picture bursts with energy as the children jump, sweep, fly, and race through the months. This book is ideal for preschoolers as well as beginning readers and begs to be read with an adult who will pore over the pictures with them. 2004, Barefoot Books, Ages 4 to 7.
Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
Kirkus ReviewsBlackstone dances readers through a calendar year, inviting them to catalogue common items visible in each of a dozen simple, seasonal collage and gouache scenes. Beneath captioning rhymes ("Whirl into MARCH, come along with me! / The wind is whistling down the street-what can you see?"), she helps that catalogue along by listing a dozen or so items or other details per spread in a running footer, in this case: church, flag, truck, nest, clothesline, Frisbee, etc. Though everyone is smiling, even the occasional bunny or cat, in Carluccio's varied, idyllic settings, and Christmas seems to be the only holiday celebrated, at least the human figures show a range of ages and skin tones, and one child drives a wheelchair. All in all, not a bad way to introduce the months or to give younger children some practice in pairing words to objects. (Picture book. 4-6)
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