Autumn (Petite Poems)

­Cameron Kids. Aug. 2024. 24p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781949480580.
K-Gr 4–A dreamy, succinct poem across many pages that all together encapsulates the sense of fall. “Scarlet leaves, that, dropping,/ Rise again, as ever,/ With a useless sigh for/ Rest/ —and it is Autumn.” The muted tones of the illustrations show a young child outside in a field of trees. As the afternoon progresses, the colors of the sky and ground change from blues to yellows, and then to a warm orange as the sun sets. There is a sense of joyful energy as leaves and acorns fall to the ground. The child plays with a patterned, tan blanket, while observing birds in flight, swirling leaves, and deepening shadows. Each page has a few lines of text. At the last line of the poem, the child wraps up in the blanket and sits down. Detailed drawings show shadows creating golden patterns, which mimic the designs in the blanket, on the ground. The whole poem is repeated on a single page near the end. Back matter includes a few sentences about the poem, followed by a brief biography on Posey, who was a Muscogee poet, journalist, humorist, and editor. A note from the illustrator, Pettibon, who is Black, white, and Salish, follows. Finally, a paragraph on “The Feeling of Autumn” encourages readers to explore their senses during this season. End pages show yellow leaves, brown moths, and acorns against a blue sky, along with the child’s blanket on a salmon-colored background.
VERDICT A strong first purchase. The poem and artwork, which create an exquisite sense of a child’s joy in playing on an autumn afternoon, will appeal to all ages.

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