Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors
Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors

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Annotation: Nature displays different colors to announce the seasons of the year.
Catalog Number: #35640
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Illustrator: Zagarenski, Pamela,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-547-01494-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-24195-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-547-01494-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-24195-4
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2008035947
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Sidman rejoices in the way colors, and how we perceive them, change with seasons. In spring, shy "Green peeks from buds" while "Yellow shouts with light!" In winter, "Green waits / in the hearts of trees." Zagarenski's richly patterned mixed-media spreads add texture and extend the imagery, sustaining the playfulness of the text and its senses of awe, mystery, and beauty.
Kirkus Reviews
Describing seasons by colors is not an original concept, but this whimsical color calendar sparkles with creativity. Zagarenski's mixed-media paintings on wood and computer illustration have a European folk-art style. The described hues are block-highlighted in the text while the artwork details the imagery in the words. A woman and her white dog, both wearing paper crowns, wander through the four seasons, observing nature's palette: "In summer, / BLUE grows new names: / turquoise, / azure, / cerulean." A red bird flying across the pages becomes a continuity motif. In summer, RED is a delicate hummingbird; in fall, "RED swells / on branches bent low. / RED: crisp, juicy, / crunch! " In winter, "RED hops to treetops / ...begins to sing: / and each note drops / like a cherry / into / my / ear." The seasons flow into each other, bringing readers full circle. Fresh descriptions and inventive artistry are a charming inspiration to notice colors and correlate emotions. Details in the artwork will invite repeated readings and challenge kids to muse about other color icons. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)
Publishers Weekly

Anthropomorphized colors take charge in this fanciful book in praise of the seasons, from the collaborators behind This Is Just to Say. An androgynous crowned youth, dressed ornately in triangular apparel, plays host as colors are woven into unrhymed poetry. In spring, pink is “hairless,/ featherless,/ the color of/ new/ things,” while in summer, the youth finds a companion whose headpiece is a cross between a crown and a cowboy hat (filled with fish, no less), and the two royal personages indulge in popcorn and lemonade on the dock of a bay. Fall strikes a more melancholy tone: “the wind feels black:/ star-spangled,/ full of secrets,” as an enormous whale blends into the nightscape. Broad swathes of color compose the seasonal palettes, juxtaposed with painstakingly precise designs. The effect is evocative of primitive antiques: fleur-de-lis, checkered print and scrawled calligraphy abound, creating an artful—if, at times, precious—display that works in tandem with the gentle musings of the imagistic verse. The regal elegance is sure to charm. Ages 5–8. (Mar.)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3 Through the seasons, this book personifies colors, starting with a red bird in early spring and concluding with it as winter ends. "In SPRING,/Red sings/from treetops:/ cheer-cheer-cheer ,/each note dropping/like a cherry/into my ear." At first Green is shy, but in summer "Green is queen." "In fall, Yellow grows wheels/and lumbers/down the block,/blinking:/ Warningclassrooms ahead ," and in winter "Gray and Brown hold hands." Sidman encourages readers to experience color with all of the senses. Some of Zagarenski's mixed-media paintings are full of light and others are darker and slightly haunting, but the rich colors come to life on the page. The words and pictures depend upon one another and blend well to conjure up quirky, magical imagery. Children will find many small stories waiting to be told within the detailed paintings and enjoy looking at them over and over. This poetic tribute to the seasons will brighten dull days. Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The changing seasons have been the subject of many a picture book, but this one has a particularly unique take on the topic. Each season is explored in terms of how it encompasses colors. In the spring, "Red sings / from treetops . . . / each note dropping / like a cherry / into my ear." Green "peeks from buds," and yellow "slips goldfinches their spring jackets." Succeeding seasons offer other opportunities for the colors to spread their particular magic. In summer, "white clinks in drinks." The blue in water takes on many names: "turquoise, azure, cerulean." Sidman also brings other senses to the fore. Old leaves and crushed berries smell purple. And though one might not associate pink with winter, it "prickles: / warm fingers / against cold cheeks." All of these evocative images are matched in the imaginative illustrations. Stylized figures, intricately costumed and crowned, walk, run, and sail through Zagarenski's artwork. You'll find one in a tree picking juicy red apples and another set against an expanse of white, building a snowman. Throughout, the mixed-media illustrations, including collage and paintings on wood, provide much to look at. And as the title implies, the colors that surprise on every page do sing.
Word Count: 693
Reading Level: 3.2
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 129255 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.3 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q46417
Lexile: AD570L

With original and spot-on perceptions, Joyce Sidman's poetry brings the colors of the seasons to life in a fresh light, combining the senses of sight, sound, smell and taste. In this Caldecott Honor book, illustrator Pam Zagarenski's interpretations go beyond the concrete, allowing us to not just see color, but feel it.

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