cover image In for Winter, Out for Spring

In for Winter, Out for Spring

Arnold Adoff. Harcourt Children's Books, $14.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-15-238637-5

This warm, rich picture book about the changing seasons celebrates the comforts of home and family. ``This House,'' says narrator Rebecca, ``Is The Center.'' In the course of the year, the African-American girl enjoys the first snowfall, helps her father plant trees, takes cover from a spring storm and, throughout, receives loving support from her family. One caveat: unlike e.e. cummings's work, in which the typography and unconventional capitalization directly relate to the sound or sense of each poem, there seems to be little reason for the elaborate form Adoff uses here. Odd spacing between words, text set in vertical columns (composed frequently of single words), and all words capitalized--these seem to be somewhat pretentious devices, almost certain to confuse readers. Pinkney's ( The Talking Eggs ; Pretend You're a Cat ) exceptional watercolors--from a plate of cookies to a spider's dewy web--are characteristically vibrant and appealing. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)