cover image Sing a Season Song

Sing a Season Song

Jane Yolen, illus. by Lisel Jane Ashlock. Creative Editions, $18.99 (48p) ISBN

In succinct, evocative poems, Yolen describes the seasons as they unfold in a forest habitat. In one winter scene, children play in the distance while foxes frolic in the foreground, and an owl and an ermine stare out at readers (“High-balling, low-balling,/ everyone’s snowballing,/ and it keeps going/ on snowing”). Yolen emphasizes the ethereal quality of each season, noting its end as another season begins: “Fingers and toes freeze/ and cold makes my nose sneeze./ Turn the heat on,/ then winter is gone.” Ashlock lavishes attention on details of the animals and their environment in her handsome naturalistic illustrations, which include cornucopia-like clusters of animals, fruits, and vegetables. Playful notes, such as a scene of children playing in fallen leaves while wearing animal-themed Halloween costumes, counterbalance the book’s more serene reflections on the changing year. Ages 6–8. (Sept.)