Songs for the Season

Overview

"Highwater describes the changes in nature as plants and animals respond to the seasons. Speidel's soft paintings fill the pages and balance the strong verbal imagery that celebrates the ever-changing natural world. Teachers and librarians looking for a book on the subject will find this one appealing. Information about the red-tailed hawk that appears in each picture is appended."—Booklist.

Each season's song describes the changes that occur in nature as the year moves from summer through fall and ...

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Overview

"Highwater describes the changes in nature as plants and animals respond to the seasons. Speidel's soft paintings fill the pages and balance the strong verbal imagery that celebrates the ever-changing natural world. Teachers and librarians looking for a book on the subject will find this one appealing. Information about the red-tailed hawk that appears in each picture is appended."—Booklist.

Each season's song describes the changes that occur in nature as the year moves from summer through fall and winter to spring.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Speidel (Coconut Kind of Day) focuses on a pair of red-tailed hawks in her atmospheric chalk pastels for this sonorous poem about seasonal change. In summer, the hawks fly above the meadow, which ``clicks and clatters/ in the fierce heat''; in the winter, they ``glide in the cloudless sky.'' Like the work of Ed Young, Speidel's muted illustrations are scumbled and impressionistic; each turn of the page reveals another sweeping panorama, aptly matching Highwater's (Moonsong Lullaby) reverent tones. Much of the language is rich and poignant (e.g., the Moon ``sings silver in the blue-black sky''). But the syntax and content can be complex (``Tall trees that seemed forever lost-/ fragile victims of winter's kill/ amaze the morning with their mysteries/ as a new spring is born of an old winter/ .../ and death itself lies dead''), and well beyond the sensibilities of young readers. Ages 5-up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Bagg
Different scenes from nature accompany short thoughts about the seasons. This is a beautiful, Caldecott quality picture book showing how the changing weather affects animals and the landscape. Highwater won a Newbery Honor in 1977 for Anpao: An American Indian Odyssey.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-This picture-book poem asks readers to listen to the natural world. Beginning with the sun singing ``...gold in the pale sky of morning,/echoing across the summer hills,'' Highwater provides glimpses of each season. In summer, ``The wide river retreats into the dry earth,/becoming a sleepy flow.'' In winter, ``White rabbits leap./Tall pines defy the cold/with their undying green.'' Unfortunately, the author fails to say anything new, or to give children a fresh view into familiar territory. Summer's song is ``sunshine'' and ``golden''; autumn's is ``melancholy'' and ``tuneless''; winter's is ``frosty'' and ``windswept''; spring's is ``fragrant.'' Impressionistic chalk-pastel illustrations complement the mood of the text, which is calm and without dramatic focus. The one potential focal point is the red-tailed hawk that appears in each picture. But the poem is clearly not from the hawk's viewpoint and the drawings, while pleasant and soothing, lack the details or tension that might have made the book come alive.-Carolyn Polese, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Karen Hutt
Highwater describes the changes in nature as plants and animals respond to the seasons. Speidel's soft paintings fill the pages and balance the strong verbal imagery that celebrates the ever-changing natural world. A repetitive chorus, part of each description, connects the seasons but seems incongruous with images that are mostly visual. Nonetheless, teachers and librarians looking for a book on the subject will find this one appealing. Information about the red-tailed hawk that appears in each picture is appended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688106584
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.45 (d)

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