Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Picture Books We Love: Snowsong Whistling

Jennifer mentioned how pulling out Cynthia Rylant's In November has inspired her to warm up the house with breakfast in the morning.  Me too!  We have been enjoying pumpkin oatmeal, warm challah rolls, and butternut squash bread here in the mornings, definitely a change from my usual routine.  And now I'm thinking perhaps a daily teatime with some of our favorite fall picture books is in order as we take it easy school-wise this week to enjoy Thanksgiving.  One book that always gets me in a cold-weather spirit is Snowsong Whistling, by Karen E. Lotz and Elisa Kleven. 

There's a crisp in the air
From I-don't-know-where
But it might be a snowsong whistling.

Hot pies baking
Chimney smoke snaking
Scarecrow faking
Cornstalks aching

I am a sucker for rhymed picture books when done right, and this one is done right.  I am so sad it's out of print--we don't even own our own copy.  Thankfully, our library does, and each fall I check it out for a few months for us to enjoy.  I find it a pleasure to read aloud--Lotz doesn't shy away from rich vocabulary and rhythm, and the verses are very rarely strained.  And Kleven's illustrations steal the show; they are, as always, absolutely delightful: a mixed-media collage of bright colors, cozy domestic scenes, falling leaves, groups of children outdoors, and playful geometic borders lining each page.  


We don't get snow here, so I can't say that I have much experience with "snowsongs whistling," but I like to think that they are something like this.

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