Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall: Mother Nature Rules Them All

Final Cover for Cheers for a Dozen Ears, by Felicia Sanzari CherneskyWell, it’s starting to feel like spring where I live, but March weather often includes a little bit of every season—sometimes all in the same day!

And ever since I’ve been working on my picture book series published by Albert Whitman, I’ve been dabbling in all the seasons at once, too. Sugar White Snow and Evergreens, title pageCheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting released March 1. Sugar White Snow and Evergreens: A Winter Wonderland of Colors appears this September. I just finished working on the manuscript for the last book in the series, on spring, which will arrive in bookstores March 2015. And the first book, Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes, which released September 2013, just received a starred review in the February 2014 Science Books & Films, a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in the children’s book section under the mathematics heading.

Right now, that seems especially fitting.

And I’m just delighted with the reviewer’s specific take on the book:

cover_thumbChernesky, Felicia Sanzari. Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes. (Illus. by Susan Swan.) Morton Grove, IL: Whitman, 2013. 32pp. $16.99. 2013005186. ISBN 9780807565384. C.I.P.

K, EP, ★

With brightly colored pictures, Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes cleverly blends the study of shapes into activities of the autumn season. After a few short introductory pages that set the narrative at a pumpkin farm, individual shapes are introduced on double page spreads. The reader is encouraged to find the shapes in various objects within the pictures. Some of the shapes are rather unusual; while circles, squares and rectangles are introduced, so are ovals, diamonds, hexagons, hearts and stars. This book would be useful for making connections to mathematics and science lessons for the very youngest learners. For instance, the use of the word “cube” on the pages that deal with squares could lead to a mathematics lesson on three dimensional objects. A look at hexagons could lead to a science lesson on bees and beehives. The rhyming narrative should appeal to those who can read independently and the challenge of finding shapes within the pictures should appeal to all. This would be a welcome addition to supplemental libraries for preschool through grade 2.

—Ellen McCabe, Associate Librarian, Emeritus, Binghamton, New York

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