The Year Comes Round: Haiku Through the Seasons


Nature-themed haikus describe each month of the year.
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Nature-themed haikus describe each month of the year.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Clear, sparse word imagery can be understood by the youngest reader and will encourage older students to read and write poetry." Library Media Connection, January/February 2013

"Unlike some haiku, Farrar's creations are accessible and fun for a young audience, and the poetry is extended through the glowing watercolor nature scenes by Caldecott Honor Book illustrator Plume." Booklist, November 15, 2012

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Twelve carefully constructed haiku take us through the seasons, from windowpanes decorated by Jack Frost through the birds and flowers of spring, through the fireflies and thunderstorms of summer and the harvesting of autumn, to the falling of the snow. Each double page has a haiku celebrating an aspect of nature at that season illustrated by softly textured watercolors describing items from the poems but, more importantly, evoking the emotional qualities of each season. Raindrops illuminate yellow dandelions and we sense summer upon us. Jack O 'Lanterns glow in a heap of orange globes as dark blue proclaims autumn. Lawns "slip beneath their white blankets to sleep." In a final haiku, "Earth circles the sun/ spinning a tapestry of/ days, months, seasons—Life." There are informative notes about haiku and the cycle of seasons, with further descriptions of both. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This quietly contemplative collection offers a look at the wonders of nature over the course of a year. Each spread gives a glimpse into a different scene-thunderstorms, apples falling from trees, fireflies at dusk, birds feeding their babies, and other animals in their natural habitats in the different seasons. There are 13 haiku in all-one for each month (although they are not labeled, allowing readers to infer when each one takes place)-and a final one describing the Earth circling the sun as "spinning a tapestry of days, months, and seasons," bringing awe-inspiring perspective to children just learning about how vast the universe really is. Plume's understated yet cheerful artwork brings the selections to life and exemplifies the power and beauty of nature. Farrar gives an explanation of haiku in the back of the book and also discusses characteristics of the seasons and the "cycle of life"-how a year is measured and how the equator divides the world and affects the way seasons are experienced, etc. This charming book is a wonderful supplement for units on weather, seasons, animals, or poetry in general.—Rita Meade, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
First-time author Farrar here teams up with the Caldecott Honor–winning Plume (The Bremen Town Musicians, 1980, etc.) to capture signature poetic snapshots of the four seasons. While global warming may make these 13 haiku noting distinctions among the seasons ever more historical as the years continue to come round, the evocative scenes Farrar paints are sure to inspire young readers to note cyclical changes in the natural world. And just in case these wonderfully imagistic poetic kernels or Plume's warm, lushly hued watercolors miss their mark, readers can always turn to Farrar's prose expositions on time and the seasons at the volume's end. But the tight marriage of word and image present in the majority of these double-page spreads should render that explanatory annex unnecessary. Farrar excels in choosing natural elements and events that prove quintessentially seasonal. "Like tiny fallen / stars, fireflies quietly blink / their secrets at dusk" suggests the magical depth of a summer's twilight without needing a syllable more. Similarly, Plume's exquisite artistry renders a slightly more complex winter poem--"Each windowpane's a / masterpiece, personally / signed: Your Friend, Jack Frost"--accessible through its abstract amalgam of blue, gray and white icy designs. Plume smartly avoids the temptation to overcompensate for the spareness of these 17-syllable works, lending to Farrar's year outdoors graphic dimensions as vibrant as nature itself. A richly illustrated view of the seasons through haiku. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807581292
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 698,961
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sid Farrar works in publishing and lives with his wife, Wendy, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has three grown children, Dan, Rose, and Jacob and a grandson, Vinny. Sid wrote poems for his kids when they were little, including some of the poems in this book. He enjoys the change of seasons on his walks in the woods and around the lakes of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Ilse Plume is a collector and illustrator of children's songs and folktales from around the world. Her first book, The Bremen Town Musicians, was a Caldecott Honor book for 1981. She has since created many other beautiful works, including The Twelve Days of Christmas and The Velveteen Rabbit. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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