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Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  2,320 Ratings  ·  422 Reviews
With original and spot-on perceptions, Joyce Sidman's poetry brings the colors of the seasons to life in a fresh light, combining the senses of sight, sound, smell and taste. In this Caldecott Honor book, illustrator Pam Zagarenski's interpretations go beyond the concrete, allowing us to not just see color, but feel it.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 6th 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Mar 09, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
I love this book! While primarily a collection of poetry about different facets of the seasons, there is also a continuity in both the poetry and the illustration which makes it a story. It is like a love song to the seasons and to all the treasures we find if we have eyes and hearts for nature. I love how the colors keep reappearing in different ways throughout the seasons. Poetry is so subjective and I admit that I am not always a fan of children's poetry books, but I think this is a true gem ...more
Sep 22, 2009 Betsy rated it it was amazing
As a child I had many favorite books and it was only when I got older that they crystallized in my brain enough so that I could chose a “favorite”. But if you asked me today what book I loved more than any other, I don’t think I’d be too off-base when I said it was Tasha Tudor’s A Time to Keep. Now there are a couple of reasons for this. I liked how she drew cupcakes, I liked the corgis, and I particularly liked the idea of kids running around playing games and pranks each month. But the thing t ...more
Lisa Vegan
Mar 31, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who find joy in the seasons and in colors
Recommended to Lisa by: Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This book is truly creative and unusual in a very good way. I admit it took me several pages to get used to the illustration of the person/queen? Then, I grew fond of all the illustrations.

So unique! While this is free form poetry story of the passing of the seasons honors the joys of each season, my favorite aspect was how the many colors written about were written in their color. This makes it terrific for teaching colors too, and not just the typical colors featured in “learn your colors” boo
Mar 18, 2010 Ch_amyM rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
"In Summer, White clinks in drinks. Yellow melts everything it touches... smells like butter, tastes like salt." In Red Sings From the Treetops, Joyce Sidman takes you on a beautiful journey of the seasons that stimulates the senses. You can almost feel the seasons as she describes them and await each color and how she'll relate it to the season.
I enjoyed reading this book to myself and was engaged by how Sidman describes the seasons using color. This is a great book for a read-aloud in grades
Francesca Forrest
Aug 23, 2015 Francesca Forrest rated it it was amazing
What I loved especially was the recurrence of colors, their different incarnations in the different seasons. And the illustrations were arresting: crowns on people, birds and dogs--all beings are noble--and doors in trees, the sky--and writing here and there. Beautiful picture book. Many, many thanks to Ambrosia Rose for giving me this gift.
Oct 06, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Genre: Children’s Book, Poetry, Science


Aspects of each season are portrayed through poems that highlight the wildlife, weather, pivotal events, and occurrences. The colors that routinely occur throughout each season are also brought to the forefront in both the poetry and the text color.

The illustrations capture a magical world, filled with life and change. The artistic technique of mixed media gives added depth and texture, bringing a whimsical quality to the characters and animals. The
Jan 26, 2011 Luann rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure how much I would really like this one from the book description. And I didn't immediately love it. But the more time I spent with each page, reading the text and then noticing all the fun details in the illustrations, I really started to love it! So I went back to the beginning and started over. This isn't a book to just read your way through and glance at the illustrations. This is a book to read and reread, to savor and enjoy, to read aloud, to pore over the illustrations and dis ...more
Mar 20, 2016 Christine rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Suggested Grade Levels: 1st-5th grade.
Genre: Picture Book in Poetic Form
Themes: Colors of the Seasons
Awards: 2010 Caldecott Honor, 2010 White Ravens Award, 2010 Claudia Lewis Award and many more.

This is a true poetry delight for both young and old readers alike. It is a picture book done in poetic form describing the seasons through colors. Joyce Sidman does an exquisite job of creating familiar images for the reader using intricate word choice. Readers can see, hear and feel the seasons right a
Mar 31, 2009 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Move through the seasons with the colors built into verses dedicated to a color and the season. Delight in the fact that spring is more than just green as Sidman weaves all of the colors into spring some in quite surprising and insightful ways. The whimsical paintings of Zagarenski also offer a complexity and uniqueness to the title. This is much more than spring being green and filled with flowers. Here spring is red with cardinals, white with lightning, blue sky, yellow goldfinches, and pink w ...more
Nov 25, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 520-poetry
Joyce Sidman's award-winning book, Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors is a beautiful combination of free verse poetry and unique illustrations. Beginning in spring, Joyce personifies each color, bringing to life each of the four seasons. While red "whispers along my finger with little beetle feet" in summer, "red beats inside me...and glows in the strengthening sun" in winter. Alliteration and imagery combine to create a reading experience that compliments auditory and visual readers. Sid ...more
Vikki VanSickle
Apr 07, 2016 Vikki VanSickle rated it it was amazing
Pamela Zagarenski’s art is vibrant and surprising. She has a playful, very European style. Every time I open the book, something new pops out at me in the illustrations. Her work captures the essence of Joyce Sidman’s loving and original ode to both seasons and colours. I have read a lot of poetry, and what makes Sidman stand out from the rest is the fresh and surprising imagery she conjures with her pristine and thoughtful word choice. I’m still mooning over this image:

In the winter woods,

Nov 01, 2014 Yvonne rated it really liked it
The writing from Joyce Sidman and the illustrations from Pamela Zagarenski perfectly connect colors to the four seasons. The descriptions draw you into the poems and the illustrations do a wonderful job of supporting them. This book begins with the red colors of spring with the “sprouts in rhubarb spears” and goes to the summer colors including purple in the sunsets. The next stop is fall when “orange ripens in full, heavy moons, thick with pulp and see”, and ends with winter where “white turns ...more
Natalia Ortega-Brown
April is Poetry month, so I'm happy start it with a beautiful poetry picture book. Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors is full of lovely imagery and poetic language. Through its pages, colors take on the seasons. Red sings from treetops during Spring, Yellow slips goldfinches their spring jackets. Blue grows new names in the summer: turquoise, azure, cerulean. White dazzles day and turns night inside out in the summer. Just beautiful! This is a book to be read slowly, over and over, all at ...more
Aug 06, 2015 Ambrosia rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ambrosia by: Christy Favorite
Shelves: favorites
When I was shopping for books for my goddaughter, and lamenting the mediocre quality of so many of the offerings, a friend of my mother's pointed me at this one. And I'm so glad she did.

Like many children's books, it's written in verse - but not the usual scansion-and-rhyme. Rather, it's done in free verse; not the "I was too lazy to make things rhyme so I'll just put some random line breaks in" sort, but with real thought and care put into the word selection, and with such effective use of rhyt
Erika Bowen
Aug 31, 2016 Erika Bowen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-summaries
1. This book is a Caldecott Honor Book. Instead of many different poems, it is one big poem broken into different sections. This book brings to life the colors of the year using the senses. Colors are seen on every page as well as felt.
2. Grades PreK-2, Ages 4-8
3. This book is an excellent tool in teaching colors and seasons. Colors are everywhere, but sometimes you see more colors in different seasons.
4. Students who might need extra help in learning their colors could really benefit from this
Cassandra Lemieux
Nov 30, 2016 Cassandra Lemieux rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summaries
1. Summary: This book has all the different seasons, and for each season their is a poem. The poems talk about the colors that represent the seasons and how it changes throughout the year.
2. grade: k-1
3. Classroom use: I would like to use this book when going over the different season. I would let each students pick a season and then create a picture that represents that season.
4. Students who may benefit: Students who enjoy poetry and really great pictures would love this book.
5. Small group us
Ashley Gregory
Jun 07, 2012 Ashley Gregory rated it it was amazing
Audience: 3rd-5th grade. I think boys and girls would enjoy this book. The way it is written would possibly go right over the heads of students younger than 3rd grade. However, if you were reading it for fun, the ideas of colors and seasons would work for younger than 3rd.

Award list: 2010 Caldecott Honor Book.

Appeal: The first time I read this book I read it too fast to really understand it. I found myself confused and not enjoying it. Then I reread it slower, stopping and thinking after each s
Alyssa Stanley
Sep 27, 2015 Alyssa Stanley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: week-7-poetry
Poetry- A Year in Colors Picture Book

After checking this book out from the library and reading it, I decided to read it to my class. They illustrations, the colors, the imagery, and seasons really drew the students into the reading. We had a lot of stopping points to discuss the different vocabulary they used and how that rich vocabulary really helped them as readers picture the scene. I would say this book could be introduced as early as Kindergarten and up depending on the purpose. It would be
Apr 10, 2012 Tatiana rated it really liked it
Author Joyce Sidman blends a journey through the seasons with whimsical color poems in Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors. Some of the comparisons are standard ("Green is new in spring.") and others have wings ("Green sighs with relief: I've ruled for so long. Time for Brown to take over."). It is the imaginings of color as objects with emotions and sound and movement that make this an ideal model text for teachig color poems. I am using it in exactly that capacity, though this should be ...more
Nov 13, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful book of poems that describe the colors throughout the year as the seasons change. Very appropriate for our latitude (compared to when we lived in Hawaii!), this book shows how nature's colors wax and wane and change all year. The poems are short and the illustrations are colorful, with lots of patterns and textures. I love that the poems are so expressive and paint a word picture that children can really grasp and appreciate. I listened as our oldest read these poems aloud; w ...more
Nov 30, 2016 Lauren rated it liked it
With original and spot-on perceptions, the book brings the colors of the seasons to life in a fresh light, combining the senses of sight, sound, smell and taste. The illustrator’s interpretations go beyond the concrete, allowing us to not just see color, but feel it.
Any grade level is fine for this book.
Any Subject area is fine with this book.
Students that may benefit are any.
Small group work would be fine.
You can use the whole class as well.
A similar book would be stellaluna.
No multimedia that
Nancy Sanders
Mar 23, 2012 Nancy Sanders rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love this book! What a tender, sweet and poetic portrayal of the seasons. It's so beautiful, I ached with joy as I read this book for the very first time. The art is joyful and fresh, just like a blossom in spring or a snowflake in winter. The words are poetic and rich, vibrant with color and meaning. This is a book to cherish yourself and read aloud to a child. A timeless treasure perfect for the classroom or when curled up next to the fireplace at home.
This 2010 Caldecott Honor Book would be most appropriate for students in Grades 2 -5. Younger children would enjoy the word choice and illustrations. Older children would also enjoy the illustrations, but also really appreciate the connections made between colors and seasons. Older children would be able to make their own connections between colors and seasons.
Jun 14, 2012 Aaron rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: Both boys and girls, early readers

Appeal: Wonderful pictures tell the story right along with the words. All different colors are described throughout the seasons. Easy to read and fun to see the changing colors and seasons.

2010 Caldecott Honor Award
Jun 14, 2012 Tiffany rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book is for the age 4 and up. It can be for a girl or boy to read if they like the seasons and color. This book has bright pictures and demonstrates what happens to the seasons throughout the whole year step by step.

Caldecott 2010 honor award winner
Apr 10, 2009 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
What a gorgeous writer! One of my favorite poets.
Jun 12, 2012 Kristine rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
This book would be good for younger aged groups from K-2nd grade. This book uses vivid colors and great illustrations to explore and relate to different seasons during the year. Caldecott 2010
Feb 04, 2015 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
I didn't love the poem, but it and the art worked really well together.
Feb 14, 2010 Donalyn rated it it was amazing
Outstanding word choices and playful illustrations evoke the beauty of each season.
Jun 09, 2009 Kristen rated it liked it
Great to use with "Hailstones and Halibut Bones" to inspire color poems.
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Joyce Sidman lives in Wayzata, Minnesota.
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