cover image Bringing the Outside In

Bringing the Outside In

Mary McKenna Siddals, illus. by Patrice Barton. Random, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-449-81430-7

Four children make the most of the seasons in this exuberant appreciation of nature and sharing good times. Dashing outdoors after a spring rain shower, the children enjoy “Worms in our clutches,/ Wind in our hair,/ Boots full of puddle,/ Mud everywhere!” Their explorations end with “bringing the outside in” (mud and puddles, mainly), and everyone helps tidy up. Similarly, autumn finds the kids picking apples, jumping in leaves, and collecting acorns, then sweeping up stray leaves once everyone is back inside. The children are of varying ethnicities but appear to live together under the care of a kindly mother figure—it’s easy to envision this group as a happy adoptive family. By year’s end, they have filled a box with photos, drawings, and treasured souvenirs. In energetic rhymes and tenderly detailed illustrations, Siddals (Shades of Halloween) and Barton (Uh-Oh!) capture the kinetic motion of this quartet of kids as they run, leap, fly kites, and make snow angels, their faces brimming with joy. Ages 3–7. [em]Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Chris Tugeau, Christina A. Tugeau Artist Agency. (Feb.) [/em]