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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn, written and illustrated by Kenard Pak. Henry Holt and Company, Macmillan. Raincoast. 2016. $20.50 ages 3 and up

"Hello! It's time to bring
out your thick sweaters
and scarves.

Hello, puddle.

Hello! Now that the wind
has come, I often get covered with fallen leaves."

Off the young girl goes, red scarf blowing in the wind, on a visit with nature. She says hello to the cool morning of late summer and makes her way to a stand of trees whose branches are blowing, and whose trunks welcome the warmth of the sun. Her greetings include animals who speak to her and share their observations and knowledge of the changing seasons.

Kenard Pak uses watercolor and pencils to create stunning digitally enhanced artwork that shows readers just exactly what is happening as the youngster makes her way through the woodsy landscape toward town. Many details are left for readers to discover on their own as they are not mentioned in the written words. They will notice autumn flowers, and the way they lean toward the warmth of the sun. They will see all the townspeople as they go about their business and find delight in flowers shared. Her visit is short, and soon she is headed toward home again. This time she talks to the changing leaves, the early setting sun, and is prepared then to say her final goodbye to summer as she happily welcomes autumn.

The pace of her walk, her pleasant conversations, and the hushed moody tone provide a perfect interlude that takes young readers from one season to the next. It's terrific  for reading aloud in a classroom, or at bedtime with a child just learning about the changing seasons.

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