A Child's Calendar
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A Child's Calendar

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  471 ratings  ·  91 reviews
This calendar features poems from noted author Updike for each month of the year, accompanied by full-color illustrations of a multiracial family living in the New Hampshire countryside.
Paperback, (Caldecott Honor Book), 32 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Holiday House (first published October 12th 1965)
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64th out of 83 books — 77 voters
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Shanna Gonzalez
This collection of modern-day poems convey the experiences of one year, with one poem for each month. Written skillfully in a gentle rhyming rhythm, and full of tactile, aesthetic details that will resonate with children, this is a fine way to observe the turning of the calendar's pages. Some children have difficulty with the compressed meaning of well-written poetry, but Trina Schart Hyman's award-winning artwork helps supply visual interest while interpreting the poetry so that younger listene...more
Jonathan Peto
The poems in this book are simple and charming. They depict a traditional or stereotypical vision of New England. If you have a childhood connection to that region, they may evoke sentimental feelings, either good or bad, perhaps depending on your viewpoint.

Updike used a variety of poetic techniques, so the book is useful for introducing them to children.

A poem for each month. The passing of seasons. Beautiful and satisfying.
Rachel
My version sadly did not have the lovely book jacket cover. I had to get an interlibrary loan of this book because the only version they had in my public library was a braille edition. I loved this book! The poems were great and short, and the illustrations were fabulous. The book was originally published in 1965 by the same author but different illustrator (Nancy Ekholm Burkert who was a Caldecott Honor recipient and also the original illustrator of "James and the Giant Peach"). This one won a...more
Rachel Hancock
"A Child's Calendar" by John Updike is a nice collection of poems about each month of the year. In the book, Updike goes through every month and shares a little about it and describes it in a poem. The poems are very child-friendly and are fun to read aloud. Additionally, they point out the "highlights" of each month and say something positive about each one.

The illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman are phenomenal and certainly enhance the book. I loved the way she captured the author's descriptio...more
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
A Poem for each month. The collection describes each month through poems. Simple and easy read with illustrations. Those who like poetry go for this mostly suitable to children.
Robert Bason
This is the TRUE first edition of this book (Knopf, 1965) with the lovely (and sort of eerie) illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert (who also did James and the Giant Peach for Knopf). It's an early Updike, I suppose written when his children were little. One poem for each month of the year (AB AB AB AB). It's fairly nostalgic for me, because I now live in California and my months don't include things such as "First snow" and "the marching of the Legion band". But I remember those things from Iow...more
Alexandria
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl in CC NV
Hyman illustrates fantasy better than the everyday, in my opinion. And the verses were rather sing-songy and superficial. That said, the book is appealing and worthy. I liked the interracial blended family implied by the drawings - and the youngest boy is such a scamp!
Jodie Greene
This is a book of poems that is meant to be read aloud by two readers. One reader takes the right part, one reader takes the left part, when the parts are on the same line, they are read together. A note at the beginning says, “the poems should be read from top to bottom, the two parts meshing as in a musical duet.” The book contains 14 poems about different insects ranging from grasshoppers to honeybees. The pages are filled with detailed black a white illustrations.

I recommend this book for gr...more
Luann
A book of nice enough poems - one for each month - with accompanying illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman. The August picture (featuring a naked baby at the beach) makes me laugh every time I read the book. So cute!
Rosemary
This is a lovely book that captures the unique natural wonder and pastimes of each month of the year for multiracial, New England families. John Updike's poetry shows that even January (the month in which I am writing this)has its own beauty. His poetry is a lot more charitable than my Midwestern grumbling. Updike writes "The river is/A frozen place/Held still beneath/The trees' black lace." Trina Schart Hyman's illustration, (her wonderful, colorful illustrations accompany each month's poetry),...more
595AJ__Margaret
A Child’s Calendar, poems by John Updike, Is a beautiful collection of poems describing each month of a calendar year. Through imagery and rhyme Updike captures the essence and special qualities that are unique to each month, reminding us of that each has special joys to celebrate. The illustrations in this book are equally beautiful and expressive. The artwork is colorful and the scenes and people created by the illustrator enrich the author’s words making these poems even more enjoyable. I lis...more
Devon
LIBS 642 PICTURE BOOK LOG
CATEGORY: POETRY
SOURCE: Caldecott Honors 2000

A Child's Calendar is a collection of John Updike Poems, organized in conjunction with the months of the year. Each poem beautiful portrays the essence of the given month and is accompanied by wonderful watercolor illustrations, allowing adults and children alike to get lost in the moment. Descriptive verses envelope holidays and seasons as well as emotions and sounds though their rhythmic flow.

I really enjoyed this book as I...more
katie
This book of poems for the Nursery/Primary age groups won a Caldecott Honor in 2000. This picturebook is a collection of twelve poems, one for every month of the year. The language of the poems is mostly very simple, vocabulary-wise, but there is a bit of figurative language thrown in there once in a while that make the poems more like poems instead of a conglomeration of season-related words and images. For example, in March, "The mud smells happy / On our shoes," and in April, "The blushing, g...more
Jill
Dec 22, 2010 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ages 4+
Shelves: children
This should have won the Caldecott medal in my opinion. The poems are beautifully written by John Updike and the illustration, especially of the winter months, reminds me of winter in New England--the good parts, that is...John Updike finds a way to put a positive spin on some of the most gray and long months of the year. If I had more time on my hands right now I would like to set a few of the months to music.

here's January:

"The days are short,
The sun a spark
Hung thin between
The dark and dark....more
Patricia Holland
I loved this book so much. I have always loved reading poetry. When I was reading each month I felt that each short poem so perfectly described each month. There was not a thing that needed to be added or taken away to get the feel of the month. I thought that the pictures were just precious. I think that they captured what childhood should be all about. One line that I thought was so clever was in the month of June. The author is talking about long days with sunlight when he says, “And Freckle...more
Kayla Sveen
A Child's Calendar included poems for all the 12 months of the year. It was written by John Updike and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. I thought the illustrations fit the lines of the poems for each month of the year. I could see children laughing at some of the illustrations. I think you need books to explain simple concepts, like the months of the year in this book. I would recommend to read this poetry verse book to children!
Ch_beverlyatwood
Mar 16, 2010 Ch_beverlyatwood rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: students who like poetry or who are learning about the months, seasons of the year
Shelves: poetry
Title: A Child’s Calendar
Author: John Updike
Illustrator: Trina Schart Hyman
Publisher: Holiday House
Year originally published:1965
Translator (if applicable):
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Ages 5-8
Format (picture book, audio book, book read online, chapter book/novel, graphic novel): Picture poem book
Rating system: ***
Brief summary: This themed book of poetry contains one poem for each month of the year. In addition the pictures show two paintings of activities that could take place dur...more
Susan
I love this book on so many levels - for the graceful, articulate poetry by John Updike, for the amazing art by Trina Schart Hyman, for the New England love song to the seasons that it is....I love that I was able to hand it to my friend who is black and married to a white man and who wanted a book for her daughters where race wasn't a freaking issue already but is just there, part of life, and so is this family, I love that it makes me remember all the best things about my children's childhood,...more
Matt Smith
Poetry
I like this poem book because it is very relevant to children. It is easy for the kids to go through each month and relate what Updike rhymes about to their own lives. He talks about the seasons and weather changing, the activities of the people in those months, holidays, etc. He is very creative and precise in his poems. The reader knows exactly what he is refering to in every poem. The illustrations definitely deserve the Caldecott Honor Medal is recieved. They showed what it looks like...more
Elizabeth McDonald
A poem for each month of the year, in simple yet exquisite words. Each has the innocence that I associate with childhood in small-town America in 1965 without venturing into the realm of cloying or sappy. The word choices really blow me away. From "June":

The sun is rich
And gladly pays
In golden hours,
Silver days,

And long green weeks
That never end.
School's out. The time
Is ours to spend.

The playground calls,
The ice-cream man,
And, after supper,
Kick-the-Can.

The live-long light
Is like a dream,
And frec...more
Christina
John Updike turns his wonderful talent from describing human horrors and injustices to creating short poems for every moth of the year, and Trina Schart Hymen's nostalgic watercolor paintings takes us through the year with joy. The verses are simple, rhyming, four line stanzas at first glance, but they contain much that fine poetry boasts: onomatopoeia, assonance, consonance, enjambment. They are quite wonderful structures designed to capture the feel of the seasons and allow young readers entra...more
Amy
I've been checking this book out from the library for years. I finally had to order my own copy (it was out of print for a little while, but it's back on Amazon now). I've been reading it to my kids for 5 years and everyone loves it when they get to the age to appreciate it. The pictures are really darling and the drawings for winter and fall made me cry when we lived in Houston and it was hot enough to wear shorts all the way through Christmas Eve.

Some of the rhymes aren't the most profound, bu...more
Debbie Hoskins
This is a beautiful book. I dreamed of the picture for September after I read the book of the mother waiting at the bus. Trina actually used her family members for the illustrations. It's a magical, funny, wonderful book. I did get the pleasure to eat dinner with Trina and meet her daughter and good friend/partner.

I also had the privilege to hear John Updike speak in the early 80's at John Carroll University in Cleveland. I enjoyed his Rabbit books and also the Witches of Eastwick. My father lik...more
Karell Detsay
A Child’s Calendar by John Updike
These poems complement each month and they are great for children to learn the months and all the characteristics that each one has. Some of the vocabulary used is a bit more challenging than I anticipated but with clarification children can understand the words. The illustrations complement each month very well. The vivid illustrations will surely capture the attention of young readers. Reading these poems would be a great way to identify all the different qual...more
Robert
Pleasant look at what each month is like through the eyes of a child in rhyming verse. It is easy to appreciate the art of Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator), whose illustrations are colorful, whimsical and full of delightful detail. My favorite picture is that for August, a day at the beach, in which a young mother looks in horror as her little one goes au natural on the beach.
Sarah-Rae Bugayong
I enjoyed the poetry in this book. It took the reader on a trip around the year, eloquently describing each month. The illustrations bring the words to life and I feel that they truly made the book. My favorite part of the book was the winter months. Winter is my favorite time of the year and Updike hit home when he described January in poetry. It made me remember the times when I was little, walking through crunchy snow back east. It is a great example of a read-aloud poetry book.
Janet
Overall I am rating this a three, a five for Hyman's illustrations whose work I always love, but a two for the poetry--I was expecting more from Updike, it was like he was trying too hard to make a poem for every month.Strangley I liked the first and last verses of the book. from January: The days are short, the sun a spark, hung thin between, the dark and the dark. from December: Some miracle, And then it's here, Wrapped up in hope--another year!
Mary
I was recently recommended to read this book by a parent. She described how much she loved the rich language and about reading it as a child. She read it to hear children when they were younger. She was totally right. I love that it goes through each month and describes the holidays, weather, feelings, memories. I read October to my students and had them draw visualizations. They are amazing and truly represent fall and obviously halloween.
Cynthia Murdock
I liked the format of this book with a poem for every month, it was a nice way to compile a collection. The easy rhyming rhythm is fun to both read and listen to. The text is simple yet creates vivid images sensory perceptions. The same people are portrayed in the full page illustrations and smaller pictures on pages with text. It makes you feel like you are following a family and their friends in all their activities throughout the year.
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John Hoyer Updike (born March 18, 1932 in Shillington, Pennsylvania) was an American writer. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest both won Pulitzer Prizes for Updike. Describing his subject as "the American small town, Protestant middle class," Updike is well known for hi...more
More about John Updike...
Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstrom, #1) Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom, #4) Rabbit Is Rich (Rabbit Angstrom, #3) Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom, #2) The Witches of Eastwick (Eastwick, #1)

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