Friday, March 22, 2013

A year with friends by John Seven, illustrated by Jana Christy

The cover picture doesn't really do justice to the simple pleasure of this little book. I think I saw it at ALA Midwinter and borrowed a copy as soon as I got home to investigate further. I've looked at a  couple other books Jana Christy has illustrated and while the pictures were pretty, they didn't really stick in my head. This one did.

Each spread opens with the month in the top left corner, then both pages are covered with a variety of panels, and a simple action completes the sentence. For example, " time for bugs." shows twelve mini panels, each with a different bug on the left and an exuberant small boy, racing through a meadow with a bug net held high, a stream of colorful insects tailing behind him. The two children on the front cover take turns in the illustrations, alone and together. There are more tiny illustrations in even softer pastels around the panels; tiny pumpkins in October, flowers and caterpillars in May, etc.

Verdict: The simple, colorful pictures and imaginative text are a lovely combination. I especially appreciated that the author and illustrator picked non-specific things to highlight, so this book can be easily used in many seasonal storytimes. Add this to any storytime and have fun talking about what things you and the kids like to do in any given month.

ISBN: 9781419704437; Published 2013 by Abrams/Appleseed; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

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