March 20, 2018

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When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano | SLJ Review

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redstarFogliano, Julie. When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons. illus. by Julie Morstad. 56p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter Bks. Mar. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781596438521. Fogliano, Julie. When Green Becomes Tomatoes Poems for All Seasons

K-Gr 3–Fogliano celebrates the four seasons through journal entries in poetic form. Starting and ending with March 20, the vernal equinox, the author marks randomly chosen days with short, free verse observations (“if you want to be sure/that you are nothing more than small/stand at the edge of the ocean/looking out.”). The timely text describes blooming crocuses, rainy spring days, warm summer sun, and falling leaves. Cleverly written and personal in nature, these offerings convey the beauty of the seasons. Fogliano creates verses that capture not only the colorful images of nature but also the human emotions that the changing seasons evoke. Morstad’s simple, inviting illustrations express a sense of wonder. Spreads filled with gentle, watercolor depictions of children experiencing seasonal activities include some surprising details that demand closer perusal and wonderfully complement and extend the text. Teachers will also appreciate how this title lends itself handily to classroom lessons on writing poetry and personal journal narratives. VERDICT Highly recommended.–Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal March 2016 issue.