cover image Run, Jump, Whiz, Splash

Run, Jump, Whiz, Splash

Vera Rosenberry. Holiday House, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1378-2

Rosenberry's (The Outside Inn) brief verse pairs a description of the seasons with the activities they inspire. Vivid full-bleed watercolors alternate with a starker illustration of a boy and girl that also incorporates one of the words from the title. For example, the spread ""Autumn is when/ the fluttery pile of dry leaves grows"" shows the children raking; turn the page for ""And you jump/ so high in the crunch and smell,"" and the letters of the word ""jump"" form an ascending arc, completed by the descent of the children on the facing page. Then the luminous, full-color background reappears (e.g., the children, finished with their jump, ""sink, sink, sink down,/ the sky above./ Then you jump again""). Unfortunately, the design sometimes works against the text. The words ""sink, sink, sink down"" are printed in the blue sky, while the line ""the sky above"" appears in the dirt at the bottom of the page. While some illustrations are effective--spring's wind-swept bluebells and the winter swans ""fly[ing] up/ from pale dry reeds"" in particular--Rosenberry's depiction of the children's faces is inconsistent. The plump face of the boy wading in the stream does not seem to match with the wizened, spindly fellow pictured two spreads later, and the girl appears to change features on nearly every page. An uneven effort. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)