A Year with Friends

John Seven, Author, Jana Christy, Illustrator
John Seven, illus. by Jana Christy. Abrams Appleseed, $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0443-7
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This cheerful tour of the months of the year pairs Christy's airy artwork with simple sentences that introduce seasonal activities. The spreads offer silent mini-narratives that unfold in varying numbers of panels, with whimsical thematic images encircling each scene. Images of muddy footprints and handprints form a border for the April spread ("April is time to get messy"), while the main panels show a dark-haired boy making a running leap into a mud puddle, with joyfully explosive results. In February, "time for snuggling," a cat delivers a valentine to the same boy, seen reading under the covers of his bed, while in May ("time for flowers"), a red-headed girl and her dog plant seeds, which blossom into quite the garden. Rather than mentioning specific holidays by name, the book hints at festive occasions—"July is time for fireworks"; "October is time for tricks and treats"—keeping the emphasis on the generous, sociable, and downright fun things friends do together. Christy's illustrations provide humor, energy, and entertainment with year-round appeal. Ages 3–6. (Jan.)
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