Changes: A Child’s First Poetry Collection by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Summary: “This summer still hangs heavy and sweet with sunlight as it did last year./The autumn still comes showering cold and crimson as it did last year./The winter still stings clean and cold and white as it did last year./The spring still comes like a whisper in the dark night./It is only I who have changed.” After this introductory poem, the book moves through the circle of seasons, beginning with spring, with several poems in each section that describe a simple, observable moment of that season. Beautifully illustrated with soft, seasonal colors, every poem is written by children’s literature legend Charlotte Zolotow, whose hundredth birthday this book commemorates. Grades K-4.

Pros: These poems seem like throwbacks to an earlier time, in a good way. They are simple enough for a very young child to understand, yet beautiful in their imagery; “Little trees like pencil strokes/black and still/etched forever in my mind/on that snowy hill.” This would be a wonderful introduction to both readers and writers of poetry.

Cons: Readers raised on the likes of Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky may need some guidance to appreciate this sort of poetry.

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