Reviews for Sharing the Seasons : A Book of Poems


Booklist Reviews 2010 March #1
*Starred Review* There are plenty of children's poetry collections that celebrate the seasons; John Updike's A Child's Calendar (1965) is just one classic example. What makes this one special is the beautiful combination of accessible verse and Diaz's radiant artwork. The 48 poems, 12 for each season, include familiar contributions from Carl Sandburg and Karla Kuskin as well as specially commissioned works by well-known contemporary poets for children, including Marilyn Singer, J. Patrick Lewis, and Rebecca Kai Dotlich. Many of the entries personify nature, as in April Halprin Wayland's whimsical selection that imagines spring flowers showing up for a first day of class: "Let's go around the room. / Call out your colors." Others focus on human activities throughout the year and the small, sensory moments that make each season special, from the smell of cold spring air to the cozy crackle of a December fire. In his signature combination of stylized figures and vibrant patterns, Diaz's remarkable, glowing scenes add depth and meaning to each poem without overwhelming the words. In an image accompanying the anonymous poem "August Heat," for example, a man rendered in a blurred, fiery silhouette appears to almost melt into the atmosphere. Well suited for use across the curriculum, this handsome title will remind a wide audience of each season's wonders. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
This jubilant compilation celebrates the seasons with classic and contemporary verse. Brief quotes (e.g., Longfellow's "Spring in the world! / And all things are made new!") herald each new section, setting the tone for the poems that follow. Hues are vivid and varied, and the bold, lively spreads feature glowing figures in Diaz's signature silhouette style. Ind. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 January #2
Cheery, upbeat and accessible--and lovely to boot. Veteran poet and anthologist Hopkins makes good choices among contemporary poets young readers might recognize--Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Marilyn Singer, April Halprin Wayland, to name a few--and a few older names, such as Carl Sandburg and William Shakespeare. The brief (none longer than two pages and some only a few lines) poems are grouped by season, and each gets a page of Diaz's astonishing illustrations. They pulse with color, leaping off the page. His signature use of pattern echoes Mexican pottery or silhouette, always in mouthwatering incandescent colors that shade into one another. "Winter tames man, woman and beast" says Shakespeare; Anonymous writes of finding a shady spot in "August Heat": "And sit-- / And sit-- / And sit-- / And sit!" Prince Redcloud makes a shaped autumn poem called "After," and Elizabeth Upton, in "Summer Sun," speaks in the sun's voice: "I linger in the evening / so they can / skip, hop, race / play ball / eat Popsicles…" Good all year round. (Poetry. 7-12) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 February #2

This dynamic collection features 48 poems--12 for each of the seasons--mingling previously published poems by Carl Sandburg, Karla Kuskin, and others, with new works by several poets, including Hopkins. The diverse, accessible selections create a mosaic that stirs the senses. Diaz's ethereal silhouettes of animals and people, which resemble layered, cut-paper shadows, are ornately inlaid with nature motifs. Neon hues of spring and summer give way to autumnal colors, then to a softened winter palette, with selections like "Season," by Lillian M. Fisher: "First snow/ falling./ Wild geese/ calling./ Fields are/ bare./ Winter/ whispers/ everywhere." Ages 8-up. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 June

Gr 3-6--Hopkins presents 48 poems, 12 for each season. Some are by well-known writers like Lillian M. Fisher, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, and Joseph Bruchac (with several by Hopkins himself) while others are by less-familiar poets. Most are about changes in weather and landscape, outdoor play, and holidays. For example, Fran Haraway's "The Fourth of July Parade" brings forth images of "Spangled gowns,/Friendly clowns,/Smiling folks,/Papered spokes,/Marching feet,/Endless heat." Some of the more playful verses will lend themselves well to creative writing activities. For instance, April Halprin Wayland's "Budding Scholars" begins, "Welcome, Flowers./Write your name on a name tag./Find a seat./Raise your leaf if you've taken a class here before." Diaz's mixed-media illustrations are distinctive and highly stylized, with effective use of rhythm, pattern, and beautiful glowing colors. They are aesthetically lovely but are a bit lacking in child appeal. Overall, as in most anthologies, the quality of the writing varies a bit, but many of the poems are well written and enjoyable.--Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

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