Review Blog

Jul 08 2014

The ABC Book of Seasons by Helen Martin and Judith Simpson

cover image

Ill. by Cheryl Orsini. ABC Books/ HarperCollins, 2014. ISBN 9780733331954.
'Season come . . . seasons go . . .sun shines . . .winds blow. . .rain falls. . .plants grow'. As winter starts to take its grip on Australia once again, this is a great book to help our youngest readers learn about the seasons. Each season has its own group of pages that show a range of familiar sights, colours and activities and concludes with a question that draws the child into sharing their own ideas and experiences.
It is also Australian with words and illustrations that are familiar to our children. 'Autumn' is used rather than 'fall' and there are beaches, barbecues, picnics and parks which will help the reader connect with the story. Even though the winter snow scenes might be new to many, the children that I shared this with were quite tickled that here was a picture that they could really relate to, given where we live. While many of them could describe just what it feels like to be on a chairlift, it also started a conversation about what winter was like in other parts of Australia. They were fascinated that there were places where beaches and barbecues were everyday things all year round!
While nonfiction books about the seasons abound, there are very few that are as charming and appealing as this one for this age group. The authors and illustrators have got it just right for their target audience, and it is one that can be read and reread throughout the year as the calendar and the planet turn.
Barbara Braxton

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