A Child’s Calendar

As we begin the month of March and Spring, here in Indiana, shows itself one day, then hides the next, I thought I would share this children’s poem “March” taken from A Child’s Calendar, poems by John Updike and illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman.

John Updike (1932-2009) is the American author of more than 40 books, including collections of short stories, poems and criticisms. His novels have won two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards and three National Book Critics Circle Awards. He lived most of his life in Massachusetts.

A Child’s Calendar was originally published in 1965 with illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. In 1999, it was reissued with artwork by Trina Schart Hyman. In Hyman’s illustrations, the children and families depicted are of different ethnicities, offering a welcome addition to the children’s literature market, lacking in diversity.

Trina Schart Hyman (1939-2004) has illustrated over one hundred and fifty books for children. She has received the Caldecott Medal (Saint George and the Dragon), Caldecott Honors awards, and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.

In A Child’s Calendar (1999), a Caldecott Honor book, presents twelve poems, one for each month of the year, as the year and the seasons unfold on a family farm in Vermont. Trina Schart Hayman’s colorful full-page paintings are brimming with details of family life and bring the poems to life.

I highly recommend A Child’s Calendar as a great addition to a home library – a book of poetry that can be pulled out at the beginning of each month to celebrate the seasons and the corresponding family activities.

The interplay of text and art has both depth and beauty. The language and illustrations are not merely pretty or ornamentally descriptive, but vibrantly alive.“.   – Publishers Weekly –



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