A New Green Day

Holiday House/Neal Porter Bks. Apr. 2020. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823444885.
Gr 2-4–In Portis’s latest nonfiction picture book, a nameless girl is awoken by the sun streaming through her window. The narrative then focuses on the everyday happenings of the natural world. Throughout the book, children are shown engaging in physical activities. They peek into ponds, squish their toes in the mud, and play in the rain. By spotlighting the small details of a child’s experience, Portis showcases the power of wonder and curiosity. This book would be excellent for lessons introducing poetry, especially to support discussions regarding metaphor and poetic form. Each text-only page provides a new stanza about a child’s environment. The subsequent page identifies the subject of the previous stanza. The stanzas are short, making this book appropriate for younger children as well as older ones. Overall, the book is dazzling. The use of long lines and beautifully flowing language sustains a calm pace and creates a soft tone. The simple illustrations appear to be painted with broad brush strokes. Muted colors harmonize with the language. Some of the illustrations appear to be leaf pressings, which could inspire an engaging project for classrooms.
VERDICT A stunning picture book that depicts children exploring the outside world. An excellent resource for teaching poetry, inference, and prediction. Highly recommended for elementary collections.

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