Tag Archives: seasons

MAKE FRIENDS: A Year with Friends, by John Seven

withfriendsWhy hello there.

I have been a very busy lady for someone who is technically “on holiday.” Holiday, schm-oliday. When I haven’t been: a) learning about teaching Kindergarten, b) reading about teaching Kindergarten, c) dreaming about teaching Kindergarten, d) hunting and gathering at garage sales so that I have stuff with which I can teach Kindergarten, I have been doing Absolutely Nothing. (Okay, there has been some cocktail-drinking and BBQ-eating and extremely lazy watching of mindless television, but that’s about it. Barely any reading at all. I can’t stay awake folks. It’s a problem). And so it has taken every tiny bit of resolve I could scrape together to get in front of this computer screen and attempt to string a few sensible words together.

A Year with Friends. Gosh this is a pretty wee book. It practically sings Kindergarten. It’s a journey through the year, a celebration of the seasons and the great outdoors starring two kids and their furry sidekick pets. The text is perfectly simple: “January is time for rolling down hills. February is time for snuggling. March is time to hold on to your hat. April is time to get messy…” Each idea is open enough to leave kids room to ponder, and the wonderfully bright, expressive artwork showcases the children taking charge of their own experiences and making their own fun. I like that most of the activities are outdoors. The kids are busy chasing things and making things and having those many small adventures that constitute the best kind of childhood. This is a cosy read, a perfect introduction to the pleasures of different times of year and friendship and simple things. A Year with Friends is understated and just right. I’ll be trying it out on the little people sometime this fall.

A Year with Friends is published by Abrams Appleseed.

(P.S. The husband and wife team have a fun website. They seem like cool folk!)

Day 24, Book 24: Apple by Nikki McClure

It’s the time of year when the teachers here at school start combing the library shelves for books about apples. Apple orchards, apple trees, apple pies, apple ABCs, apple everything. Soon, the little people will venture to the apple farm for hay rides and cider and some picking. Nikki McClure’s stunning little book, Apple, is now my new favourite apple-themed book, and it’s proof that it’s hard to get better than simple, done beautifully.

Working in black, white, and Macintosh red, McClure traces the journey of one perfect apple, from the beginning of fall, into a child’s lunch, to the compost heap, all the way through to the next spring. The story emerges mostly through the amazing paper cuts, which capture the community, energy, and warmth of fall in their bold, captivating simplicity. Each picture faces a single word in block letters to inspire the reader’s interpretation: FALL, FIND, SNEAK, HIDE, SECRET… This little book is meant to be read slowly, to be savoured. It ends with a lovely explanation of the life of an apple tree and the process of composting.

It’s interesting to note that there is a circularity to how this book came to be that echos the rhythms of nature portrayed here. On the last page, McClure shares that this book was her first book, self-published and handmade in 1996. She sold her copies in local bookstores. The opening image of the fallen apple under the tree was her very first paper cut. It’s amazing what grows from small beginnings.

Apple is published by Abrams Appleseed.