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In for winter, out for spring /

This collection of poems, told from the perspective of a young girl, celebrates family life throughout the yearly cycle of seasons. Full description

Main Author:
Other Authors: Pinkney, Jerry,
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991
Edition: First edition.
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The glories of the change of seasons are seen afresh from a young girl's perspective. As the youngest member of a multigenerational family, Rebecca observes and celebrates the changes in both nature and her own family's activities as the year passes. "What a celebration indeed."-Booklist

Review by Booklist Review

Ages 5-9. Often, no doubt too often, reviewers say things like, "This book is a perfect wedding of author and artist." Well, this one is. Adoff has worked with many fine illustrators, but never has his poetry been more radiantly expressed than in Pinkney's watercolor and colored-pencil art. Using the changing seasons as a framework, Adoff captures the big and small moments that occur within a year in the life of a young black girl, Rebecca. She is the family's youngest, "So They Call Me All Day Long / My Name Is Rebecca at Breakfast Time / Becky by Lunch / But / Becka / Beck / Beck Come Wash Your Neck / Is Daddy's Supper Song." In energetic full-page pictures, Rebecca tosses leaves in the air, sleds down a hill with her brother, and worries with her family when a spring storm is on the way. But the book's farm setting also proffers scenes of nature, as birds, insects, and plants maintain their own life cycles through Rebecca's year. Perhaps the most striking picture--and one of the most affecting poems--relates how Granny's 92-year-old legs are aching: "Her Shin Bones Have Been Hurting Clear to Winter." Burdened, sage Granny, as depicted by Pinkney, stares straight out at the audience, old in years but with a glimmer of remembered happy times in her eyes. Throughout, Adoff's poems strike the right balance between good cheer and strong emotion. Not all is carefree on the farm, as when the western wind blows, bringing the sad smells of the paper mills and burning plastic, but the overwhelming feelings here are ones of connectedness, anticipation, and love. The poetry is formatted in eye-catching designs that encourage effective reading, whether by adults or by middle-graders who will be able to handle this themselves. Pinkney's dedication reads: "In celebration of the family." What a celebration indeed. ~--Ilene Cooper

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

This warm, rich picture book about the changing seasons celebrates the comforts of home and family. ``This House,'' says narrator Rebecca, ``Is The Center.'' In the course of the year, the African-American girl enjoys the first snowfall, helps her father plant trees, takes cover from a spring storm and, throughout, receives loving support from her family. One caveat: unlike e.e. cummings's work, in which the typography and unconventional capitalization directly relate to the sound or sense of each poem, there seems to be little reason for the elaborate form Adoff uses here. Odd spacing between words, text set in vertical columns (composed frequently of single words), and all words capitalized--these seem to be somewhat pretentious devices, almost certain to confuse readers. Pinkney's ( The Talking Eggs ; Pretend You're a Cat ) exceptional watercolors--from a plate of cookies to a spider's dewy web--are characteristically vibrant and appealing. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-- These 28 poems celebrate family life and the cycle of the seasons. Rebecca, the young black narrator, lives in a rural area with her parents and older brother, Aaron; her joy in her family and in the world around her permeates the pages. Poems are about gardening, finding a stray puppy, the weather, the pleasure of walking barefoot in freshly mown grass, and other seasonal events. Activities described are consciously nonsexist: Mom mows and Dad bakes. Adoff begins and ends with the family settling in for winter. Words and letters within words spread and compress across the generously sized pages; a few of the groupings seem contrived. All words are capitalized, which makes for a staccato reading. While the meanings are readily accessible, it will take sophisticated readers to read these poems alone. Pinkney's realistic watercolors stick closely to the text, fleshing out the words with carefully observed natural scenes. A double-page spread that contrasts fireflies with the end-of-summer tomatoes is particularly striking. Page design is nicely varied. These poems would be best read aloud and discussed. --Leda Schubert, Vermont Department of Education, Montpelier (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Arnold Adoff is the recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children for the body of his work. He lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio. To learn more, please visit www.arnoldadoff.com ."

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