A Child’s Calendar by John Updike, Ill. by Trina Schart Hyman

A Child’s Calendar by John Updike, Ill. by Trina Schart Hyman

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Publishing: Holiday House, New York, 1999 (originally 1965 for the text)

Description: Updike has written a poem for each month. Each poem has short lines and is accompanied by a full-page illustration and also a long, thin panel next to the text. The two work together to capture the feelings, weather, holidays and other important events in that month. Hyman’s illustration style transfers well to the subject, with very rich, detailed pictures.

Programming: Would be good for a preschool or kindergarten class learning the months of the year, good for students learning poetry, or good in December to reflect on the passing year and look forward to the next. Students might write a poem about their favorite month, or make a bar graph of everyone’s favorite month or the month when everyone’s birthdays fall.

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes

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Publishing: Greenwillow Books, 2008

Description: Old Bear goes into hibernation for the winter and dreams of the spring, summer, autumn, and finally the winter. When he wakes up from his very long nap he walks into the spring day and realizes he isn’t dreaming. 

Programming: Students could have a worksheet divided into four sections-one for each season. They could have paper shapes that they have to place in one season or another, such as snow, or falling leaves. 

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, Ill. by Erin E. Stead

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, Ill. by Erin E. Stead

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Publishing: Roaring Book Press, New York, 2012

Awards: 2013 ALA Notable Children’s Book

Description: A little boy and his dog are tired of the brown ground after the snow melts and so they plant a garden. They wait, and wait, and wait some more until finally the ground is no longer brown, but a lovely shade of green.

Programming: This would be the perfect activity to read in the spring time. Students could start their own seedlings, or perhaps you could start a class garden. My elementary school had a garden behind it and each class had a plot. This would have been perfect for tending that plot in the spring time!