Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter

illus. by Kenard Pak. 32p. Holt. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781627794169.
PreS-Gr 2—Two children experience the transition from autumn to winter in this luminous picture book. In a brown field edged with trees, a dark-haired duo, perhaps brother and sister, play in a pile of red, yellow, and orange leaves. As they travel across the landscape, the text alternates between simple greetings—"Hello, leaves…Hello, clouds."—and responses. "Hello! We're ready to fly far, far south," the robins and cardinals reply. This dialogue is whimsical and informational, succinctly describing the habits of animals and plants preparing for winter, but also greeting the "silent night" who "quiet(s) the juniper and maple trees." The children journey from the forest's edge, past a farm, and into town as the hazy afternoon turns to blue twilight. While they sleep, their world is transformed into a winter snowscape with only the occasional red leaf appearing as a visual link to autumn. Upon waking, they reverse their journey, greeting snowflakes, frost, and icicles, and finally building a snowman in the same field where they began. Pak's digitally enhanced watercolor-and-pencil illustrations contrast the rounded softness, reds, and browns of the countryside with the sharp corners, grays, and blues of a vibrant, diverse urban community preparing for the winter holidays. Each detailed spread is arranged horizontally, making it easy for young audiences to follow the children's movement from left to right across the countryside.
VERDICT Lyrical and informative, this lovely introduction to the seasons is perfect for sharing with young audiences in groups or one-on-one.

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