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.

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Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman

Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman

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Publishing: Little Brown and Company, Boston, 1984

Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner

Description: This re-telling of the legend of Saint George and Dragon is told in true fairy-tale format, with flowery language and medieval style illustrations that take the form of stained glass windows. While not perhaps the most modern or feminist of stories, it is a classic tale that both boys and girls could be interested in.

Programming: This would be fun for some sort of medieval program, complete with a feast, minstrels, and costumes. A field trip to a medieval festival would be fun, if that is a possibility. Kids might enjoy a play on the traditional with the movieĀ Shrek.