When we visited the Arnold Arboretum in June for family fun day, they had crafts out for kids to do. One of them was organized by local artist Leslie Evans. Her beautiful prints are featured in many books about nature including a series of alphabet books based on the seasons written by Steven Schnur. Since we've been enjoying the first colors of fall this week, I thought we'd look at Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic.
Okay, isn't the cover amazing?! The lines are so sharp and crisp and the colors are so rich. I just love Evans' work! In the autumn book, every picture contains the yellows and oranges we associate with the season, whether it's an orange moon, a bright yellow house, or the beak of a barn owl.
The book is organized like an alphabet book. There is an autumn word on each page that starts with the next letter of the alphabet. Here L is for Leaves (which comes after Knit and before Mouse). But the book is more than an alphabet book, although it could be read that way for younger kids. Each of those alphabet words also provides the structure for an acrostic poem, where each line begins with the next letter of the word.
Who doesn't love a cool acrostic, huh? Kids would have so much fun making their own acrostic poems for the fall inspired by this book!
There are of course, three other books in the series corresponding to the other seasons.
Spring has bright greens on almost every page, for obvious reasons.
And again, the poems are delightful. I like all the long e sounds in this one, ending with spring itself.
In Summer, the greens become blue-greens of lakes and beaches and night skies.
I'm waiting to take a look at Winter until that season arrives here! But we get a little preview of it in Autumn.
Now, in my opinion, one of the true tests of an alphabet book (because it is one of the true challenges), is how the author deals with the letter X. Schnur uses some clever tricks to get around X in the books and this one is my favorite. The word xylem is so cool! And the roman numerals could lead to an interesting math discussion in class as well.
I'm am so getting a set of these books for my future classroom! There's great science in here, fun word work and writing modeling, and a lot of connections kids can make between their own experiences and the books.
PS - If you want to see more of Leslie Evans' amazing work, check out her website Sea Dog Press.