Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn is written and illustrated by Kenard Pak. The reader follows a little girl’s journey through her neighborhood, the nearby woodlands and wetlands, a town square, and farmlands. Each richly colored page incorporates elements of the natural world—foxes, blue jays, butterflies, and beaver. The illustrations are beautiful and beg to be examined closely.
The Busy Little Squirrel, by Nancy Tafuri is favorite. As squirrel prepares for winter, he is too busy to “nibble a pumpkin” with the mice and too busy to “rest on a branch” with the cardinals. It’s a fun book to read aloud because of the repetitive phrase, “He was so busy.” The children love to say that part as I read the book to the class. The art is bold and colorful. Each pages contains detailed images of wildlife. On some pages the squirrel is in the foreground, in others he is far away, and in another the reader only sees the squirrel’s tail. The variety of perspectives illustrates that the squirrel covers a lot of ground and is, in fact, very active. The book ends with a sweet surprise.
Baby Bear Counts One, by Ashley Wolff is an informative journey through the autumn season. Baby Bear asks his mother all kinds of questions. “Mama, who woke me up?” “Who is munching in there, Mama?” Mama patiently answers his questions. His questions are all connected to the natural world and the autumn season. Wolff creates the dramatic images in the book with watercolor tinted linocuts. The lines are strong and the colors saturated. Each page contains little discoveries that are fun to share— grasshoppers, spiders, mice, and more. Happy hunting.
Green is a wonderful book that plays with the shades of green. Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s artwork is textural and rich. She adds playful cutouts to each page that carry the reader through the book.
While prepping for the Moon Unit, I found the wonderful book, City Moon. It is written by Rachael Cole and illustrated by Blanca Gomez. The first time I read the book, it brought me back to that magical night with William and the moon. The book follows a mother and her son through the city as they search for the moon. “After dinner, after tooth-brushing, we put on pajamas, then coats and shoes. We take keys, and bang the big front door behind us. It’s evening. It’s night. We are going on a walk to look for the moon.” The art in City Moon has an architectural quality with rich, saturated colors. On each page, Gomez treats us to a view of city life, both inside the buildings and on the streets. Through Cole’s story, we travel the city with Mama and her little boy. Every word takes us further along on the search for the moon. Enjoy! And then, make your own search for the moon.
In Possum and the Peeper, possum is roused from his long winter sleep by a loud and constant noise. “Peep! Peep! Peep!” He decides to leave his cozy winter nest and find the source of the inconsiderate racket. As he searches she is joined by a pair of catbirds, a bear, a muskrat, and a turtle, who all agree that the noise needs to stop. The animals’ search takes them through the woods, by the “trout lilies blooming along the path,” and then down to the marsh. Among the reeds of the marsh they find “a speck of a thing” that is the source of the “peeping.” In his loud voice, the unapologetic little frog delivers a spring message, “Rise and shine!” Read the book to hear the frog’s other spring messages.