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A Child's Calendar

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,008 ratings  ·  163 reviews
One of the first major award-winning titles to feature an interracial family, A Child's Calendar combines the star power of John Updike and Trina Schart Hyman.

Celebrate the little moments that make each month special in this Caldecott Honor book, featuring twelve poems about a family and the turn of the seasons. From the short, frozen days of January, through the light of
Paperback, (Caldecott Honor Book), 32 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Holiday House (first published October 12th 1965)
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One of my favorite writers and one of my favorite illustrators made a children's book together in 1965 and it took me this long to find it?

Well, Happy Christmas to me!!

This is my new love. If you enjoy great children's books, you should just trust me and order yourself a copy.
Shanna Gonzalez
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-04-08
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
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha Penrose
My five year old and I enjoyed the illustrations, but I think that the poetry went over his head. I would recommend this to an older child (8 - 10) or even just an adult reminiscing about their own childhood.
Caldecott honor picture book. Sure it was nice. Pretty good art, readable poems. A bit too rural for me. And plain. But it just didn't seem to have any zing. It just felt fake and flat. Which is too bad because the art deserved better than that. Worth reading as a months of the year book, at least it is different and not trivial. But still just a thud of a book.
Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)
Poetry is just one of those things that I don't love anymore. However, this book is really not bad as a poetry book for children. The rhymes aren't clunky and they are easily read aloud. The only awkward one is the one for November. The illustrations are nice, they have an old-fashioned feel to them but don't look too dated.
If it was up to me though, I prefer humorous poetry over sentimental poetry for children. I would rather read Silverstein or Prelutsky to children.

Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
A poem for each month is combined with detailed illustrations of a family participating in a variety of activities throughout the year (making valentines, flying a kite, riding bikes, barbecuing, trick-or-treating, and many others.)
Kirah Marshall
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-summaries
1. This is a poetry book focused on the months within a Calendar year. Each month has it's own unique poem that encompasses what happens in each month. For example, in February, it mentions there is snow still and the children make Valentines, in July, they watch fireworks, in November, they celebrate Thanksgiving, etc.
2. Appropriate grade level for this book would be 2-5. It has some advanced works, so an independent reader could read it, but may have some questions about some vocabulary and h
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
Feb 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
"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
Jan 09, 2009 rated it liked it
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!
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Lovely poems and images.
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.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Child’s Calendar poems by John Updike is a collection of poems that was awarded the Caldecott Honor in 2000. A good book for 5 to 9-year-old children. These collections of poems are about the different months and their seasonal changes. The poems work with our senses of the seasons reminding us of familiar smells of the month. It uses fun activities that are common in the month to help make little stories. These poems don’t rhyme much and kind of lose their rhythm. In a way, the rhythm reflect ...more
Alondra Castillo
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-3090-11-20
This is a poetry book for children based on our calendar.

This book has a poetry for every month. Each describes the month by focusing on things such as seasons, holidays, etc., that are experienced in each.

I would use this book to introduce poetry since all students can relate to the months of the year. After looking at the characteristics of poetry with this book and others, students would then have to create their own poetry. They can have the option of focusing on a topic used in the books we
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: caldecott
2000 Caldecott Honor - Favorite Illustration: The April page with the beautiful details of birds, daffodils, and springtime meadows.
This is a beautiful book of poetry that has one page full of beautiful details celebrating the natural details and the family activities that occur during each month of the year. I especially love how each month has things that the families are doing together, and most of the things they are doing are out in the beauty of the world around us.
Mayra Bermejo
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Poetry
Unique feature: The book has a poem for each month, the poems rhyme, they describe the weather, things to do and see during this month. The illustration show the same family during each month and what activities they are engaging in during that month.
Grades: k-5
The book would work well for a variety of ages, it can be used to talk about seasons, months or relate to calendar time for the younger students.
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young readers
Recommended to Danielle by: Judy (circa 2005)
This was a sweet collection of poetry dedicated to each month. Each poem sticks to the same format, and highlights the themes of each month and season. It's pretty easy for kids to follow along with, and relates to things that children will recognize. The illustrations were also pretty, and I really appreciated the inclusion of an interracial family as the main subject of the pictures.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The pictures in this book are hilarious... check out August :) lol! Very fun book to read with beautiful artwork. I also loved the sentiment behind each month... oh if we could only go back and live according to childhood days.
Maria Rowe
• 2000 Caldecott Honor Book •

I'm not a big fan of poetry, but I really enjoyed this collection of charming poems. The artwork is great and fits really well, but the bookcover is so boring and dreary looking!

Materials used: unlisted
Typeface used: unlisted
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-books
These poems are amazing! There is one for every month of the year. Every beautiful one eloquently tells the best of every season. :)
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caldecott, poetry
A collection of 12 poems describing the activities in a child’s life and the changes in the weather as the year moves from January to December.

Great illustrations.
Jessica Losser
Poetry -
Beautifully written poetry for every month of the year. The descriptions helped me remember the fun activities associated with that month, the sights, smells, sounds, and feelings.
Mary Norell Hedenstrom
Each month's poem consists of four or five or six 4-lined stanzas, written by John Updike. Illustrations are colorful and often depict children engaging in some seasonally appropriate activity.
Concetta Kellough
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful poems for each month with beautiful pictures.
Brianne Nelson
A Child's Calendar is a collection of poems that goes through each month of the year. Each month's poem is highlighted with the major events, sightings and holidays of that month. The illustrations compliment the poem nicely and are a great visual for the child or person reading.

Updike, J. (1999). A Child’s Calendar. New York, NY: Holiday House.
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Ash Ryan
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile, poetry, audio
Rather than twelve short poems, this book is really more like one long poem in twelve parts, as each transitions naturally to the next (sometimes explicitly referencing what's come before), painting one picture as a unified whole. And the poetry is pretty good, though not great---there are some nice turns of phrase and unusual but evocative imagery (as well as appeals to the other senses!). I especially enjoyed the October poem.[return][return]But some parts are pretty bland, and there are some ...more
Dec 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I read and compared both editions:
-the original 1965 edition, illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert and published by Alfred A. Knopf
-the updated 1999 edition, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman and published by Scholastic Inc.

Burkert's 1965 illustrations are delicate black-and-white drawings, with either blue or red accents. Though the art itself is intricate, the scenes are simple, without much going on.

Hyman's 1999 illustrations are colorful and detailed and thus more likely to keep a modern chil
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John Hoyer Updike 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 his careful craftsmanship and prolific writing, havin ...more