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When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons Hardcover – March 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Fogliano celebrates the four seasons through journal entries in poetic form. Starting and ending with March 20, the vernal equinox, the author marks randomly chosen days with short, free verse observations ("if you want to be sure/that you are nothing more than small/stand at the edge of the ocean/looking out."). The timely text describes blooming crocuses, rainy spring days, warm summer sun, and falling leaves. Cleverly written and personal in nature, these offerings convey the beauty of the seasons. Fogliano creates verses that capture not only the colorful images of nature but also the human emotions that the changing seasons evoke. Morstad's simple, inviting illustrations express a sense of wonder. Spreads filled with gentle, watercolor depictions of children experiencing seasonal activities include some surprising details that demand closer perusal and wonderfully complement and extend the text. Teachers will also appreciate how this title lends itself handily to classroom lessons on writing poetry and personal journal narratives. VERDICT Highly recommended.-Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Complementing the poems are Morstad’s gouache and pencil crayon illustrations that range from effectively simple (a firefly glowing in the dark) to tantalizingly detailed (spot the inchworm or the ladybug in the shrubs). A multiracial cast of children relishing the delights of the seasons adds to this title’s appeal. ―Booklist, starred review
"Spreads filled with gentle, watercolor depictions of children experiencing seasonal activities include some surprising details that demand closer perusal and wonderfully complement and extend the text. "―School Library Journal, starred
"This combination of poetry and art in praise of the familiar, natural world is sweetly, successfully dazzling."―Kirkus Reviews, starred
"Working in gouache and pencil, Morstad (Swan) creates an appealing, multiracial cast of children in scarves and swimsuits, pajamas and parkas, while helping highlight the way that small things―a sprouting plant, a falling leaf―can herald big changes."― Publisher's Weekly, starred
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I liked that Fogliano gave each poem an exact date rather than just poems in spring, summer, fall, and winter sections. It added a bit more fun. We had to call Granny and read her the poem that fell on her birthday! The book starts on March 20 with probably my favorite poem of the entire book:
from a snow-covered tree
one bird singing
each tweet poking
a tiny hole
through the edge of winter
and landing carefully
on the tip of spring
The book ends on March 20th again with the same poem! Such as clever way to express the circle of the seasons and life! So uplifting!