Thursday, September 25, 2014
by Loretta Holland
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review copy from the public library, via my amazing literacy coach, Brooke!
The best compliment I can give this book is that I have read it at least 5 times and I am still finding new things to love!
When Amazing Literacy Coach Brooke handed it to me with a, "Have you seen this? I think it would make a fabulous mentor text." I read through it quickly, seeing the short phrases in large font with informational text in smaller font below.
On the next read, I really thought about the word choice for the words in large font. The book begins with, "FALL ARRIVES" and on the next page, "BIRDS LEAVE," then "LEAVES TWIST" and "RAIN FALLS."
I started to form a theory about the pattern of the words on my second read, but I had to read the whole book again from start to finish to confirm it: (spoiler alert) every page has either FALL or LEAVES in the text! Fall can be used as the noun (the season) or the verb (to fall). Same with leaves. So cool! And the text is satisfyingly circular.
On the fourth read, I studied the illustrations and marveled at the use of color, light, and movement that Loretta Holland used to perfectly capture the mood and feel of fall. On Goodreads, I tagged this book "Potential Caldecott."
Finally, on the fifth go-round, I read the nonfiction text under the large words on each page. The science behind each phrase is clearly explained and includes the large words (in italics).
Brooke was right. This would make a fabulous mentor text. Not since Nothing Like a Puffin have I read a picture book that calls to me to use its pattern to write my own version. The hardest thing will be to find two words that can both be used as nouns and verbs. I'm off to my notebook to brainstorm...