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.

Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb, Ill. by David McPhail

Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb, Ill. by David McPhail

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Publishing: Candlewick Press; Somerville, MA; 2011

Description: Timmy Bear and his mother recount the day in reverse order before he goes to sleep for the night.

Programming: This would be a good bedtime story for individual parents, or a good way for librarians and teachers to talk about time a chain of causes and events, because everything Timmy tells has a cause that came before it. Students might look at other stories, perhaps, popular folk and fairy tales and try to tell them backwards, pointing out what was the cause and what was the effect.

Time Flies by Eric Rohmann

Time Flies by Eric Rohmann

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Publishing: Crowne Publishers, New York, 1994

Awards: Caldecott Honor

Description: This wordless picture book shows a bird flying around dinosaur skeletons in museums. As pages turn the reader sees the bird with the dinosaurs in their heyday. When the little bird is swallowed, however, he comes out on the other side of the skeleton. This book makes a bridge between then and now and beautifully expresses the passage of time.

Programming: This would be a good segue for discussing different types of dinosaurs, and especially, when it was that they roamed the earth. Activities might include a pretend excavation or a report on a type of dinosaur.