cover image Gather Up, Gather in: A Book of Seasons

Gather Up, Gather in: A Book of Seasons

Mary-Claire Helldorfer, M. C. Helldorfer. Viking Children's Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-84752-5

From autumn's ``gathering in'' and winter's ``secrets'' to the unstoppable rush of spring and the ripening ``roundness'' of summer, this prose poem hums in quiet four-part harmony. Wreathing familiar, universal memories around the essences of each season, the text happens upon felicitous associations: youngsters' arms and legs poke through outgrown clothing just as flowers pop out of the spring-wet earth; in late summer a child twirls in a sprinkler ``till the trees spin,/ and the leaves turn,/ and one leaf twirls/ down.'' Helldorfer's (Clap Clap!) dense, imagery-laden text will stimulate repeat readings. Pedersen's oil pastel illustrations illuminate common scenes with uncommon color, yet never distract from Helldorfer's plush language. A lovely way to incline children's minds toward the rhythms of prose as well as those of the seasons. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)