Book Review: At This Very Moment by Jim Arnosky


At This Very Moment by Jim Arnosky

Every moment that a child is doing something during their day, animals are doing things too.  This book reminds us to think about the entire world, even when doing something as normal as taking a drink.  A deer might be sipping from a stream at just the same moment.  When children are eating, animals are eating too, after catching their meals or gathering them.  As evening comes and children head to bed, animals are getting tired too and sleeping in their own ways and beds.  This is a gentle, reassuring book that celebrates our connections to nature, the environment, and the world at large.

Arnosky uses a gentle verse that is rhyming but also free to create the connections between children and the natural world.  The book begins by reminding readers that every single day there are amazing things happening, then it goes on to show that we are all part of those amazing moments.  It is a book that will have readers mindful of what they are doing and what that means in the larger world, without ever becoming didactic about it.  The endpaper of the book has Notes on Animals, explaining Arnosky’s connection with the animals he has depicted in the book.

Arnosky’s paintings are rich and deep, the colors ranging from yellows to deep blues and purples.  They all capture the natural world with a beauty and accuracy. 

This is a celebration of the connectivity of our world, one that children will relate to easily.  Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from copy received from Dutton Children’s Books.

Book Review: Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell


Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

If the heat of summer is getting to you, you can always look ahead to the crispness of fall.  This new edition of the Rockwell classic keeps the same feel as the original.  It is the story of a little girl who heads off into the country to a farm to pick apples and pumpkins.  There they meet the geese, chickens and turkey who live on the farm.  They pick apples and the little girl carefully selects her pumpkin which she later carves into a jack-o-lantern.  The book ends with apples being given away on Halloween.

There is a timelessness to this story that adds to its broad appeal.  Rockwell’s words are simple and friendly, just as they were in the 1988 edition.  Her daughter’s art, done in watercolor, has the same timeless simplicity.  She celebrates the colors of autumn, but keeps the story at the center of the images.

A winning pick for an autumnal story time, you can’t miss with either edition.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Simon & Schuster.