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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bella's Fall Coat, written by Lynn Plourde and illustrated by Susan Gal. Disney Hyperion, Hachette. 2016. $18.99 ages 4 and up

"... WHIZZ!

Bella was already

She picked and plucked.

She stretched and reached.

She crunched and munched."

We should all love autumn as Bella loves it. Just before she goes out to scamper in the many piles of leaves in the yard, her grandmother mentions that Bella is growing out of her fall coat, and needs a new one. Stella doesn't want to hear about it. Out she goes.

She loves fall leaves and hopes to keep them forever. Grams has an idea for preserving them for a little while. Readers and listeners will want to take a stab at doing the same thing. Another gentle reminder from Grams about a new coat falls on deaf ears as Bella bounds outdoors after lunch. She loves the coat that her grandmother made for her, and is quite sure she will not need a new one ... ever!

With each trip outdoors, Bella's exuberance for the natural world overflows. She loves the red, ripe apples. Once indoors again, she wonders about an apple pie. Grams is always willing to hear what her much-loved granddaughter has to say. At nightfall, as Bella chases the migrating geese and longs to fly with them, her coat bursts a seam. Will Grams be able to fix it?

After a good night's sleep, Bella awakens to TWO delightful surprises ... and has one of her own for her Grams.

Lynn Plourde's lively text about the natural world and seasonal changes is also testament to family love. Susan Gal's textured, brilliantly colored artwork captures moments both wild and tender. The colors of autumn are magical as Bella explores her backyard. Her cool blue coat is a perfect contrast to the glory of the season. Then, watch as morning dawns.

I love the language, the gorgeous landscapes and the love that emanates from both Bella and Grams as the two share beautiful moments of their day together.

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