cover image Snowy Flowy Blowy: A Twelve Months Rhyme

Snowy Flowy Blowy: A Twelve Months Rhyme

Nancy Tafuri. Scholastic, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-18973-6

The text of this sumptuous, oversize book, based on an old poem by Gregory Gander (aka George Ellis), assigns a single adjective to each month (""Snowy, Flowy, Blowy,/ Showery, Flowery, Bowery,"" and so on). It's an ideal vehicle for Tafuri (I Love You, Little One), who clearly revels in lushly detailed, expansive nature tableaux. Birds dominate in most of the full-bleed spreads, and they exude the aery quality of the rhyme (the ruby-throated hummingbird that illustrates May's ""Flowery"" is breathtaking). No matter how diverse their shapes or sizes, the birds command a panoramic view of the landscape. For ""Showery"" in April, viewers may feel as if they are crouching in the marsh grasses next to a gracefully bending swan; a treetop view for June's ""Bowery"" features two lovestruck, rose-breasted bluebirds nestled among pink flowers, while below them a wedding takes place in a riverside garden. As she proved in I Love You, Little One (a copy of which turns up in the final spread, drawn from an indoor perspective), Tafuri's hand is surer when depicting creatures great and small than humans; the people in these pages have a wooden, almost perfunctory quality with one important exception--the mother and baby in ""Freezy"" December, who suggest a parallel to the Nativity. An inventive approach to the rhythms of the natural world. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)