The Year Comes Round
By Sid Farrar
Illustrated by Ilse Plume
Parents or teachers who want a book for beautiful poetry to read aloud to third graders, this is the book for you.Haiku is a fun form for anyone to try, but third graders always seem up to giving it a go. There are very few rules – just enough to give a budding poet some direction.
In this charming look at the changing seasons, the author gives insight to both the poetic form and to the state of the natural world. With usual haiku-style subtlety, the reader receives a two-page spread for each calendar month. January features Jack Frost, along with a realistically etched and lovely window pane. Snowmen, bare trees, and rabbits are highlighted in February. March brings robins and earthworms. The author notes the burst of dandelions in April. May brings tadpoles and young frogs surrounded by water lilies. Fireflies come in June, along with the illustrator’s strawberries. July thunderclouds water the depicted sunflowers. August features even rows of corn. September is apple time, with an inviting swing on the tree. October is all about Jack O’ Lantern, black cats, and crows. Snow renews her blanket in November. A brown bear and skunk – and more snow – are depicted in December.
Four additional pages supplement the rest of the book by giving great information for further instruction, discussion, and comprehension. They explore the haiku form, the cycle of life, the seasons, and give one more haiku about the earth itself. The illustrations are subdued and definitely add to the haiku feel.