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HERE COMES THE YEAR

Eileen Spinelli, Author, Keiko Narahashi, Illustrator
Eileen Spinelli, Author, Keiko Narahashi, Illustrator , illus. by Keiko Narahashi. Holt $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6685-2
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With one full-bleed spread for each of the 12 months, Spinelli (When Mama Comes Home Tonight) and Narahashi (I Have a Friend) focus on how that month's personality is manifested in nature. The author chooses one defining characteristic then personifies it in eight active, descriptive lines. For the seventh month, for instance, she chooses a seaside storm: "I am the July thunderstorm/ wild with glee,/ crashing against the silence,/ churning the sea,/ spearing the clouds with lightning, enjoying my game,/ leaving rather abruptly—/ just as I came." Narahashi brings these words to life with a thrillingly cataclysmic gouache-and-watercolor seascape that swirls with black, grey and green tones. In this calendar year, the March wind offers a last chance to suck on icicles, April rain beckons children to watch its "silvery spray/ puddling streets and sidewalks" and August dazzles with shooting stars, "spiraling toward your window,/ amazing your eyes." Lyrical and contemplative, this volume may well inspire readers to take a closer look at the world around them and to consider other events in nature that define their experiences. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)

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