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Sunday, October 4, 2009

NEW NONFICTION SERIES- PICTURE THE SEASONS- JILL ESBAUM


Review copies provided by publisher.

This week I discovered PICTURE THE SEASONS, a terrific new nonfiction series, written by Jill Esbaum, and published by one of my favorite nonfiction publishers, National Geographic for Kids.


APPLES FOR EVERYONE and SEED, SPROUT, PUMPKIN PIE are absolutely perfect October books. The premise of both books is simple- they start with a seed, and follow it from seed to fruit and beyond. What's not so simple, though, is the beautiful language, and the even more gorgeous photograph collages on each page. The language is lovely, kind of a blend of poetry and nonfiction. Listen to these excerpts:

"A pumpkin seed
is tucked into sun-warmed earth.
Spring rains soften
its tough coat.
A root reaches
for nutrients.
A sprout reaches
for light.
Soon jaggedy leaves
rise from twisty vines
wandering in all directions."

Or how about, "On a chilly night, a steaming mug of tangy cider chases away the goosebumps." Really nice, huh?

There's lots to wonder and talk about on each page. The first page of APPLES FOR EVERYONE has a large rectangular picture of an apple orchard, but it also has a closeup of a bee landing on an apple blossom, then two more bees, just kind of set down on the page, looking like they could crawl out of the book at any second. And then there is my absolute favorite photograph is of two rowers making their way across a lake or river in boats made of gi-normous pumpkins. My two high schoolers spent at least ten minutes talking about that picture.

This series is perfect for the little guys, K-3. I could also see using the books as mentor texts for older students attempting the genre of photo essays or working on their descriptive writing. And the best news is that right now there are five books in this series:
  • APPLES FOR EVERYONE
  • SEED, SPROUT, PUMPKIN PIE
  • A TREE FOR ALL SEASONS
  • INSECTS
  • PILGRIMS OF PLYMOUTH
I'm hoping that this series will continue to grow.

2 comments:

Patrick A. Allen said...

Carol,

I can't wait to read these! I love doing a study of photo essay with my students.

Rebecca said...

Hi Carol,

Thanks for the glowing review! Jill Esbaum is a wonderfully talented writer.

Please look for "Everything Spring" and "Winter Wonderland" coming out in 2010.

Best,

Becky Baines
National Geographic Children's Books