~posted by Ruth
We’ve noticed that this fall, there is a particularly rich harvest of new picture books that reflect the season. These titles are perfect for celebrating the wonders of autumn, whether you are curling up with a child or two at home, or reading aloud to a classroom community. In each of these selections, there is a magical interplay between the pictures and words that add to the reading experience. Enjoy!
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
A brilliant new addition to the genre of interactive books between child and story. In the tradition of Press, ap the Magic Tree asks the reader to tap, shake, clap, gently jiggle, and even blow sweet kisses, all to help the tree journey through the seasons. The magic comes when you turn the page–and the child’s helps has created leaves on a bare tree, or added blossoms, with more magic to come with the turn of each page, and the reader’s willing help. Simple, effective images and design, with a delightful natural rhythm to the text.
Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow MIller
This is a book you’ll love reading to your child. It’s about love, friendship, celebrating the life cycle–and loving vegetables. Sophie helps her parents pick out a squash at the Farmer’s Market. The family plans to include the squash as part of their fall supper feast–but now that Sophie has drawn a face on the squash and named her Bernice, that’s not going to happen! Bernice is a perfect friend size and accompanies Sophie everywhere/ But as the weeks roll by she is getting a little, well, ripe. Tucking Bernice into her warm earth bed to help her heal yields the miracle of returning life in the spring. Such a delightful story, with lots of humor in the drawing and text. It’s already become one of our favorite new picture books.
Another brand new celebration of the seasons, this time by beloved (and Newbery Medalist) author Maclachlan and illustrated by award-winning artist Steven Kellogg. The story of hope and peace is woven together through the pictures, which show the seasons change, and the delight available in each season. But it isn’t a simplistic tale–it has a powerful meditative tone, and a celebration of children as unique as each snowflake. There is a sweet homage to the memories we bring with us as each season passes.
Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow
A lovely new non-fiction picture book that helps kids and adults learn the shapes, sizes, and colors of different leaves and how to identify what trees they are from. And not just a few, but a robust 24 beautiful and unique leaves. The educational walk we take as readers through Snow’s Utah landscape with her children is both lyrically written and clearly illustrated. I especially appreciate the ending information on extending the adventure by pressing leaves and by making leaf rubbings. Great for budding artists and scientists alike. (In other words, everyone!)