Monday, May 6, 2013

Red Sings from Treetops

Title:  Red Sings from Treetops
Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator:  Pamela Zagarenski
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Genre: Caldecott Honor Winner  
Level: Primary                          
Number of Pages: 30
Pub. Date: 2009

 Summary: In Red Sings from Treetops Joyce Sidman presents a collection of poems about seasons and colors. The collection begins with spring and continues through the seasons, presenting their various colors in a fresh way that enables the reader to equate the colors with what they see, hear, taste and feel. The colors are introduced as they relate to each season. In the spring red is a bird singing from treetops and worms squirming on the road. In summer, red comes on a hummingbird’s throat and a beetle.  Red falls as leaves and crunches as apples in the autumn, and in winter red beats in the narrator’s heart and hops on treetops as a cardinal. Each color is introduced in a similar turn of phrase as they relate to the season.

Critique: The illustrations really compliment the poems. The author uses unique lettering and type
along with the blending of differential placement of art to make the book a deserving Caldecott Honor book. She places the color name in a different type than the rest of the verse, whether it be a different color (usually the color of word, like purple font for the word purple), or a different background for just that word. It makes it stand out and engages the reader. The author also places this type in various locations throughout the book, sometimes using a white section to put the poem on, sometimes placing it right on top of the art.

Response: I really liked how the author used the name of the color instead of the object that she was describing. It gives the poem a very unique flow and almost makes for a higher level of thinking because you have to think about what she is talking about. My favorite line is “In Summer, White clinks in drinks. Yellow melts everything it touches… smells like butter, tastes like salt” (referring to ice, the sun, popcorn and corn).

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