CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 32. . . .April 20, 2018
The Magic in a Year.
Frank Boylan. Illustrated by Sally Garland.
Oakville, ON: Flowerpot Press (Distributed in Canada by Thomas Allen & Son), 2017.
32 pp., hardcover, $21.99.
Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.
Review by Stephanie Johnson.
Every year has months and seasons. I love each for different reasons. Turn the page and you will see what makes each month special to me.
January brings ice and snow. The winter chill makes my cheeks glow…
March blows in with springtime breezes. Sometimes that gives me the sneezes!
In this rhyming picture book, a little girl goes through every month of the year and tells readers something she likes about that month. Each spread features a new month and is accompanied by seasonal illustrations. Overall, The Magic in a Year is a lovely picture book that features all four seasons and twelve months which makes it stand out as compared to the many books that focus on a single season. The text would be the only weakness of this book as the rhymes don’t always flow and require reading ahead in order to have flawless elocution. Some words are noticeably repeated, and some months have very similar themes that are not typically something to be celebrated, namely “rain and ice.” At the back of the book is a Sara Coleridge poem that provided the author with his inspiration, and, while it is a beautiful addition to the book, it provides a sharp contrast in the skills of the two writers.
The illustrations are what make this picture book interesting and will prompt readers to grab it from the shelves. Using beautiful, bright colours and a unique style involving paint and digital techniques, Sally Garland has knocked it out of the park with her artwork. While a little practice is needed to read this book during storytime, The Magic in a Year is a great read-aloud for kids who are learning all the months and seasons of the year.
Stephanie Johnson is a graduate of the Master of Library and Information Studies Program from the University of Alberta and is the Director of Devon Public Library in Devon, AB.
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