The Children’s Book Review | March 5, 2020
Age Range: 6-10
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Nosy Crow (2018)
What to expect: Nature and Poetry
Nature has been a source of inspiration for poets throughout history, from Shakespeare to Rudyard Kipling, to Wordsworth, Yeats, and Tennyson. Fiona Waters’ Sing a Song of Seasons collects together 365 of the best and most beloved nature poems of all time. The poetry is pulled together into a collection which not only spans the wealth of poetic history but also celebrates the myriad changes and discoveries of a year in nature.
Sing a Song of Seasons is organized into twelve chapters, one for each month of the year. Each section contains one poem for each day of that particular month, and each poem reflects the mood of that specific day. For January 1st, for example, Sara Coleridge reminds readers in “The Garden Year” that even the icy frosts of January will soon give way to the “tulips, lilies, [and] roses” of June. While on the May 31st, John Updike celebrates the early summer delights of pear-blossom, tomato-planting, and “baseball / On TV.” The selections are drawn from a wide variety of cultures and time periods. Alongside the familiar favorites from Emily Dickenson, Langston Hughes, Beatrix Potter, and so on, are works by Kanoko Okamoto, Nikyu, and Tohono O’odham, as well as traditional works from many cultures, including a Diné (Navajo) night chant and a Southern Paiute song. All are enlivened by Frann Preston-Gannon’s vibrant illustrations, reminiscent of the bright, primary-color images of Eric Carle. This is a beautiful volume which parents and young readers alike are sure to enjoy.
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About the Author
Fiona Waters is renowned in the world of children’s books for her passion, enthusiasm, and encyclopedic knowledge of children’s literature. She has published more than eighty titles, and her work has been translated into many different languages all over the world. In 2006 she won the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award for her anthology “Why Does My Mum Always Iron a Crease in My Jeans?” Born and raised in Edinburgh, Fiona Waters now lives in the South of England with thousands of books and several very discerning cats.
About the Illustrator
Frann Preston-Gannon is the author and illustrator of several books for children. She was the first U.K. recipient of a Sendak Fellowship in 2011, and in 2014 her first picture book, The Journey Home, was long-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal. She is one-fifth of the design group Zombie Collective, which specializes in workshops and pop-up galleries. Frann Preston-Gannon lives in London.
Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Go West!: The Great North American Railroad Adventure by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Changing Seasons Books, Fiona Waters, Frann Preston-Gannon, Nature, and Poetry Books for Kids.