A picture book offers poems that depict festivities throughout the year.
Via short poems, Howell cheerfully portrays events children experience during the seasons. Some highlight the weather. In “New Year’s,” the author writes: “Icicles of pointy picks, / Promises of snow that sticks.” Others chronicle holidays like Arbor Day, Thanksgiving, and more. Some poems provide personal interpretations and specific details. For example, in “On Mother’s Day,” the narrator recounts picking out flowers for mom. In “School Play,” the speaker references people by name, “Cardboard cut out wagons, / Boats, and rail cars, too / Are strapped around the shoulders / Of Peter, Jake, and Lou.” The poems connect seamlessly, flowing chronologically from January to December. The author uses clever language and examples kids will relate to. In “Question to Groundhog,” Howell writes: “It spatters down, hits the ground /…sleet is sloppy. / I dropped my homework paper / It made it moist and floppy.” Howell also utilizes poetic devices, including personification, as in “When Labor Day Comes”: “Autumn licks its lips… / Chews a sun ray /…Eating summer / Out of our town.” Abundant in color and texture, Messinger’s wonderful, detailed illustrations feature layered and intricately cut paper accents. The thematic, unique, and detailed portrayals include friendly faces, joyful children, and family gatherings. The outdoor elements, like colorful skylines and mountains, are particularly excellent. The people depicted are of varying ages and skin tones.
A rousing, artistic celebration of childhood that should appeal to readers of all ages.