Shel's Reviews > Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors

Red Sings from Treetops by Joyce Sidman
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Jul 06, 12

bookshelves: picturebooks

Sidman, J. (2009). Red Sings from Treetops: A year in colors. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

9780547014944


Appetizer: Within the 28 poems (approximately, I'm so bad at math I don't even trust my ability to count anymore), this picturebook shares the way the different colors behave during the four seasons (beginning with spring). The colors are repeated, their presence in nature expressed in different ways varying from season to season.

I absolutely LOVE the way the colors are personified in the poems. My favorite is a portion of the poem about green in the spring:


"Green is new
in the spring. Shy.
Green peeks from buds,
trembles in the breeze."

How beautiful is that image?! I heart it fiercely.

As one of the Caldecott honor books for this year, you can also expect that the illustrations are beautiful. And that is the case. There is fantastic use of colors and designs that help add to the tone and feelings of the poetry. The illustrations help to provide a sense of magic for the illustrations. For example, on the page that describes black in the fall, an inky whale is incorporated into the sky since the moon swims "through its cool sky-pool." (I know that probably sounds weird. But you can always check out the book for yourself and hopefully it will make a little more sense then)



Dinner Conversation:

"In SPRING
Red sings
from treetops:
cheer-cheer-cheer,
each note dropping
like a cherry into my ear."

"And here in secret places,
peeps Pink:
hairless,
featherless,
the color of
new
things."

"Green is queen
in summer."

"Purple pours
into summer evenings
one shadow at a time,"


To Go with the Meal:

Aside from enjoying some beautiful poetry (and some Caldecott honor earning illustrations) a teacher could use this book in a lesson about the use of colors in poetry and how they help create different meanings, images and emotions.

Rather than share the poems of this picturebook in just one sitting, a teacher could regularly present the poems throughout the school year to reflect the changes in seasons (that is of course, assuming the class is being taught in a part of the world where it actually snows in the winter).

In response to hearing or reading these poems, children could write their own poems, paying attention to incorporate colors into their writing.

Another route would be to include the poems into a science lesson on the causes of the seasons.


Tasty Rating: !!!!
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