Greetings!: A Poetic Romp Through The Seasons (Raven Howell)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Greetings!: A Poetic Romp Through The Seasons, written by Raven Howell and illustrated by Ann Pilicer.

A little girl and her younger brother play, eat, and adventure their way through a year of seasons, enjoying all the activities and fun each has to offer. They begin spring by saying goodbye to winter, and marvel at the blossoming flowers, the hatching robin’s eggs, and rainy showers. Each subsequent season is similarly greeted as the previous is bade farewell, until the winter is over, and spring can begin once again.

This was delightful! Howell’s simple rhymes wisely stick to a consistent yet fun and engaging rhythm; for instance, the fifth and six line of each stanza features a separate 1-2-1 meter within them, such as “crack, egg, crack/sing, bird, sing!” that JJ loved. Some of the rhymes, such as “winter” and “peppermint-er” felt like a bit of a stretch, but never in a way that was clunky or stumbling. Driving the story alongside the poem are the gorgeously illustrated scenes of brother and sister – along with appearances by their puppy and friends – partaking in seasonal festivities. They trick-or-treat, swim in a stream, and frolic in the snow, their cherubic faces beaming with delight. In particular, Pilicer’s choices in regard to color and environment are lovely, and she creates scenes that capture the childhood fun of changing seasons. The length is great for any age and JJ loved it! An indie gem well-worth a read, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

This Beautiful Day (Richard Jackson)

Hello, friends! Today, we’re reviewing This Beautiful Day, written by Richard Jackson and illustrated by Suzy Lee, a celebration of the often-underestimated potential for loveliness in rainy days.

Told in flowing syncopated rhyme, the story opens on three children, watching the dark skies outside their window. Nothing to do because of the rain? No way – just put on a little music so you can dance and spin, all in time to the rain’s pitter-pat. And when the rain lets up a bit, grab your umbrella, because misty weather is perfect for a puddle parade with friends. And when the sky lightens and the sun comes out again, you’ll know that a good day has nothing to do with the weather, and everything to do with a positive attitude and being with good friends.

This was a sweet and fun book with a simple message, some great art, and a good deal of charm. I loved Lee’s use of watercolors to represent water and clouds, and gradual shift from grayscale to full color as the weather became brighter and clear. The message is a great one as well, showing that having a good attitude can make any day a beautiful one. The unusual rhyme scheme tripped me up a few times on first reading, but not so much that it diminished our enjoyment of the book. The length was good, and JJ enjoyed it, so we can definitely recommend this wonderful rainy day read. Baby Bookworm approved!

Waiting (Kevin Henkes)


Hello, friends! I’m sorry we keep missing review days, but we’ll be making our big house move tomorrow, so hopefully once we get settled, our schedule will not be as spotty. For now, we’re here today with a review of Waiting by Kevin Henkes, an innocently sweet story of five friends and their life together.

There were five of them: the spotted owl, the pig with the umbrella, the bear with the kite, the puppy on the sled, and the bunny with stars. They were always together, and always waiting for something: the owl waited for the moon, the puppy for snow, and the bunny… well, he just liked to wait. When their favorite type of weather would blow, they were happy, and in between they would spend their days together, watching the small wonders of the world from their windowsill. Sometimes one would leave for a while, but they would always come back. And one day, when a cat with patches comes to stay, they find that their little makeshift family expands – by more than they think.

This is a strange yet wonderful book that takes a very small corner of the world, a child’s windowsill where a few of their toys are kept, and creates from it an entire world. The combination of the simple, straightforward text and Henke’s signature subtle illustrations brings to life a story that never leaves its unassuming location, yet still finds rich characters and a lovely story to tell. It’s a tale about appreciating the details, and taking a moment to stop and wait for the small wonders of life to unfold. It’s a good length, and JJ likes it a lot. A gentle, charming, and soothing story, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Rain! (Linda Ashman)

Hello, friends! Today, we read Rain!, written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Christian Robinson, a story about what a positive attitude can do.

As the rain falls over the city, a grumpy old man grumbles about the wet weather while putting on his rain gear. Across town, an excited little boy greets the rain with glee, putting on his froggy rain hat and coat, and hopping through the puddles. Each person he passes sees his joy, and it brings a smile to their faces. Meanwhile, the old man’s angry mood has not improved, and darkens the mood of everyone around him as he lashes out on others. When the two opposites walk into the same cafe, what will happen? Will the man’s foul mood infect the boy as well? Or can a bit of positivity and kindness from the little boy turn the man’s day around?

This was absolutely adorable. The central theme was fantastic, showing that we choose to view things positively or negatively, and those choices not only effect our mood by can make an impact on the attitudes of those around us. I love that it encourages children to examine how what we put out into the world comes back to us, for better or worse. The illustrations are fabulous of course, utilizing Robinson’s signature cut-paper artwork to build a city full of life, people, and weather. The length is perfect for little ones, and JJ loved it. This is a perfect book for a rainy day. Baby Bookworm approved!

When Spring Comes (Kevin Henkes)

Summer Reading Day 60: Our book today was When Spring Comes, written by Kevin Henkes and illustrated by Lauren Dronzek. As you might guess from the title, this is a book about the beginnings of spring: flowers, rain, new kittens, etc. It’s a fairly thorough examination of the spring season, told through a simple, lovely narrative and with some colorful and sweet illustrations. The length was perfect for JJ, and she loved the pictures. Definitely a good one to pick up around springtime! Baby bookworm approved.