cover image ALL YEAR LONG


Kathleen W. Deady, , illus. by Linda Bronson. . Lerner/Carolrhoda, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-57505-537-4

"I'll know it's spring when robins sing,/ and tulips give a nod," begins Deady's (It's Time! ) ebullient young narrator as she embarks on a winsome dance through the seasons. In Bronson's (Moe McTooth ) curvilinear, stylized collages, buttons transform into blossoms, painted stones become the logs of a campfire, and cotton balls represent woolly lambs. Trick-or-treating with friends against a sky of sunset orange, the girl, dressed in a witch costume made of felt, notes, "Spooky goblins, scary ghosts,/ and witches are a sign/ That soon I'll see my breath/ and feel the chill of frosty ground." Turning the page, readers find a sea of white and the girl happily making snow angels. ("Then suddenly it's winter.../ fluffy snow falls all around!") Deady brings her poem satisfyingly full circle ("Mama's cocoa keeps us warm/ from winter until spring,/ When, if I listen closely.../ I'll hear a robin sing"), and translates nature's rhythms into children's own, immediate terms: fall means "Mama says, 'A sweater, please,'/ and, 'No more swimming pool.' " Bronson's crafty spreads should prompt plenty of gleeful pointing. She fills a spring garden with tiny "plants" made of green pipe cleaners, and fashions autumn trees from intricate layers of feather-shaped tissue. But most winning of all is the book's narrator, a doll-like figure with umbrella shaped dresses, curlicued pigtails and bright pink cheeks; she's the very picture of year-round joie de vivre. Ages 3-8. (Feb.)