Summer Green to Autumn Gold

Presumably fall will show up at some point. In January, perhaps. So there’s still time to incorporate this lovely book into your lesson plans. It introduces the youngest of leaf peepers to the process of senescence initiated by photoperiodism (oh, don’t be too impressed; I had to look up them fancypants words) with an uncomplicated and cheerful narrative that’s just right for reading aloud to students beneath a tree on a crisp autumn day… should we have one of those. The book begins in the summer and proceeds through the spring, and wow, is the journey a visual delight. Rich cut-paper collages and watercolors fill the pages with stunning shades of green, yellow, red, and orange. The book is a perfect start to a unit tying together science, art, and writing. The opening spread identifies commonly-found leaves, a boost for budding collectors, and the simpler main text is supported by satisfyingly in-depth end material for use in reports. Posada reminds her audience that trees are vital for the food and shelter their fallen leaves provide the tiniest critters scurrying around on the ground – one more argument students can make in a persuasive presentation for the planting of trees in their community. And ohhh, the potential for art projects! Have kiddos paint real leaves and press them on paper to make imprints, or have them mimic Posada’s cut-paper collage technique and create their own forest in fall. Or have them reproduce the same outdoor scene throughout the four seasons. Or… well, you get the idea. Posada’s celebration of this most glorious process is truly a must-have. It reminds us that Mother Nature had a good thing going waaaaay before pumpkin spice was a thing.

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