Written & illustrated by Douglas Florian
Autumnblings is the third in Douglas Florian’s series of seasonal poetry collections. The twenty-nine poems in this book touch on a variety of autumnal topics: apple picking, Indian summer, pumpkins, falling leaves, the first frost, the migration of geese, and Thanksgiving. Readers will find a plethora of short, light-hearted poems that speak about animals and the changes in nature that take place during this season.
As in Winter Eyes, Summersaults, Handsprings and Florian’s collections of animal poems, including Insectlopedia, Beast Feast, Mammalabilia, and In the Swim, there’s also plenty of clever wordplay in Autumnblings to delight old and young readers alike. The book contains poems with the following titles: HI-BEAR-NATION, AWE-TUMN, and SYMMETREE (Autumn is the only season/The leaves all leave./Call it tree-son.) In his poem BRRRRRRR!, Florian writes about Octobrrrrr’s cold, Novembrrrrr’s chill, and Decembrrrrr’s freeze. In TREE-TICE, Florian speaks of the number of leaves falling from trees--one leaf…then two…then three…and so on. It’s, according to the author, A tree-tice on/Arithmetics.
Autumnblings includes a few shape poems and several list poems with the following titles: What I Love about Autumn, What I Hate about Autumn, The Wind, Birds of Autumn, The Owls, The Colors of Autumn, What to Do with Autumn Leaves, Thanksgiving, and Autumnescent.
The collection concludes with NAUGHTUM, a poem that relates how The tress are bare./The birds have flown…./The leaves fall down/And then get burned,/As autumn slowly gets winturned.
Florian’s illustrations done in watercolor and colored pencils add just the right touch of color and humor to this collection that is a “must have” for elementary classroom library collections.
AUTUMN: AN ALPHABET ACROSTIC
Written by Steven Schnur
Illustrated by Leslie Evans
Like Douglas Florian, author Steven Schnur has also written a series of seasonal poetry books. Schnur’s books, though, contain only acrostic poems. In Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic, he writes about acorns, corn, frost, leaves, pumpkins, ripe apples, and Thanksgiving guests--as well as topics associated with winter or no particular season: snow, icicles, the universe, the sound of a passing train, an owl out hunting, a mouse and a horse. While not all poems are lyrical in nature, it is the pairing of Schnur’s acrostic poems with Leslie Evans’s bold illustrations executed in hand-colored linoleum cut blocks that combine to make this book an attractive picture/poetry package.
Here’s one poem from the collection:
From the window the
Seem clothed in
Thin white shawls.
Classroom Connection: Teachers and students could compile a list of “autumn” topics to write acrostic poems about, which they could illustrate.
Here is my review of a poetry book that was previously posted at Blue Rose Girls:
A CHILL IN THE AIR:
NATURE POEMS FOR FALL AND WINTER
Written by John Frank
Illustrated by Mike Reed
Published by Simon & Schuster (2003)
In A CHILL IN THE AIR, Frank’s poetry and Reed’s art work together beautifully to transport us, in words and pictures, from the bright colors and berry picking of early fall into the ice-blue cold of winter. Some of Reed’s uncluttered illustrations, rendered in acrylic paints, of freezing rain, icicles, a fox huddled at the mouth of a cave as snow swirls outside almost give me goose bumps. The text for the book, set in Highlander and Gill Sans, is large and bold and placed on each page so that the poems are easy to read.
Frank’s poems are straightforward—and most of them rhyme. His poetry doesn’t contain much imagery or figurative language. Frank does make use of personification in a few poems. Here’s an example:
The winter wind’s a clever thief:
He’ll join with you in play,
Then slip his hand inside your coat
And steal the warmth away.
And here is a shape poem from the book entitled Icicles:
A CHILL IN THE AIR is definitely a book of seasonal poetry I would want to have on hand in my elementary classroom to share with children during the autumn and winter seasons.
PICTURE BOOK IN VERSE
Written by Jan Carr
Illustrated by Dorothy Donohue
Holiday House, 2001
Dappled Apples is a prefect book to read aloud to children in preschool and kindergarten in the fall. The brief, rhyming text has a bouncy rhythm and some good use of vocabulary. Here are some examples of how Carr selected her words well and got creative with her rhyming lines about autumn leaves, apples, pumpkins, and kids dressed up for Halloween:
Gold as glitter
Rake a heap up
Run and leap up
Stack a mile up
Yikes! She’s scary!
There’s also some good use of alliteration. Note it in the following lines--as well as in some of the lines printed above:
Tug a tall one
As snitches snatch
Fall’ll fool you
Donohue’s colorful cut-paper collages are a perfect complement to Carr’s energetic text. Dappled Apples is a lively celebration of fall.