Friday, November 9, 2012

Poetry Friday - A review of Julie Andrews' Treasury for all seasons

Some of the best days in the year are the ones where we celebrate a season or a holiday with friends and family members. Not long ago I took my daughter to choose our fall pumpkins. Ever since she was little, we have bought little pumpkins and gourds to arrange in a basket. She spends ages trying to figure out how to make the arrangement look "just perfect."

Today's poetry title is a collection of poetry that takes readers through the year with poems that capture the joys of many of our most beloved special days.

Selected by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
For ages 6 and up
Little Brown, 2012, 978-0-316-04051-8
The year is full of special days. Some are personal, like the arrival of a new baby, a wedding, or a birthday, while others are holidays that millions of people enjoy. Then there are those days when the joys of the season seem to be especially noticeable. It might be a summer day when a child builds a sandcastle on a beach, which when the tide comes in, is “tumbled down / like dominoes.” At the other end of the year it might be a winter night when Jack Frost comes and leaves chilly “Willow trees with trailing boughs / And flowers – frosty white” on the window.
   For this book, Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton have collected poems and songs that take readers through the year, and that celebrate the holidays, special days, and special moments that we enjoy. The collection is divided into seasons, and then subdivided into months. In each month, all the major holidays that occur during that month are featured, and additional poems and songs give readers the flavor of the season. For example for October there is a poem by Ogden Nash about Christopher Columbus for Columbus Day, there is a poem about Halloween, and then there are poems that give readers a taste of autumn. These include a poem about apples, which are such a joy to eat “In the firelight” when “they’ll be / The clear sweet taste / Of a summer tree.”
   Each seasonal section is prefaced by a section of text where Julie Andrews and her daughter share their thoughts and memories, giving us a very personal look into their lives, and showing us how words, songs, and traditions are an integral part of their year.
   This is a perfect book to dip into as the year unfolds, offering readers of all ages poems and songs that are beautiful, whimsical, amusing, and thought-provoking.

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