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

Red Sings from Treetops by Joyce Sidman
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Sep 18, 12

Read in September, 2012

Picture Book Critique #4

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors
By: Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by: Pamela Zagarenski

1. Picture Book Genre: Concept

2. Brief Summary: The Caldecott Award Honor book Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors brilliantly uses vibrant imagery, illustrations and poetry to take the reader from season to season highlighting the colors that are found in each and every one of them. Beginning in spring and transitioning to summer, fall and finally winter the text integrates inspired poetry to emphasize how the weather and seasons change throughout the years. It is through the use of each color in every season that children can begin to see the differences between each and truly understand the joys of each season.

A. Area for comment: There are a number of elements that are introduced in this text that are accomplished in a noteworthy fashion; however, I found the best part of this text to be the poetry that highlights the changes of each season.

B. Professional Evaluation: It is often difficult to introduce poetry to a group of students as they commonly link the idea of poetry to rhyming words written in a rhythmic pattern; however, this book does a fabulous job at highlighting the concepts of poetry in a nontraditional fashion. Each page features a fun and new way to look at the seasons beginning in spring and going through summer, fall and winter while simultaneously having students learn about colors, poetry and the science of seasons. Overall, I found this book to be appealing, clever, vibrant and remarkably executed.

C. Specific Example: The poetry found in this text is vibrant and clever and lends itself well to teaching students about their colors, the seasons, poetry and imagery. For example, on page 10 of the text the author features the color green during summer writing that “Green is queen in summer. Green trills from trees, clings to Pup’s knees, coverall all with leaves, leaves, leaves!” Similarly, on page 27 the author writes of green in winter stating: “Where is green in winter? Green darkens, shrinks, stiffens into needles. Green waits, in the hearts of trees, feeling the earth turn.” These are just two examples of the wonderful poetry and imagery that is featured throughout the text!

4. Curriculum Connection: There is no question that this book is executed exceptionally as it lends itself to be utilized in the classroom in a number of ways. First, this text can be utilized by teachers to introduce seasons and how the weather and surroundings change as the year progresses. Second, this book can also be used to introduce students to the concepts of comparing similarities and differences as you can see the same colors throughout the season and how they are alike yet very different as the year goes by. Finally, this book would be a great way to familiarize students with non-rhyming poetry as each page is filled with poetry focusing on each color choice. Undoubtedly, this book would be a great asset to the classroom environment!

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