The Picture Book Buzz

Seasons of Joy: Every Day is for Outdoor Play

As a parent and Girl Scout Troop leader, I appreciate books that encourage kids to get outside. I remember hours of fun running, climbing, playing, and imagining as a child. It makes me smile to watch children explore, imagine, create, and play outside.

Seasons of Joy: Every Day is for Outdoor Play

Author/Illustrator: Claudia Marie Lenart

Publisher: Loving Healing Press (2017)

Ages: 3-5

Fiction

Themes:

Seasons, outdoor play, and wool crafting

Synopsis (back cover):

The pure and simple delight of children playing outside is captured in needle-felted wool paintings created by Claudia Marie Lenart. The picture book pairs dreamy images of multi-cultural children, animals, flowers, and trees with verse that expresses the joy young children experience in nature’s seasons. Children can see themselves in the diverse characters and can be inspired to spend more time playing outdoors and connecting to nature.

Opening Lines:

Wake up! It’s Spring.

Trees are tipped in wisps of green.

Let’s stretch our legs and run on soft, fresh grass.

Up and down hills we hop and jump

Like newborn babies do.

Why I like this book:

While geared toward younger children, this book is a poignant reminder for every one of the joy spent sitting in a tree (or fort) surrounded by flowers or leaves swirling all around, swimming during summer break, picking pumpkins at a maze, and playing for hours in the snow. Claudia’s felted-wool illustrations capture these exciting moments in unusually soft, enticing, 3-D pictures.

Claudia hopes to inspire everyone to get outside and play with friends. Her illustrations encourage kids to watch the changes in the trees and plants, the animals which migrate through, and the process of change which occurs in everyone's life, as they look through the images.

This book is a beautiful celebration of childhood and nature.

Resources:

- go for walks/hikes/wanders in the same area and watch and record the seasons change;

- splash in puddles, roll down a grassy hill, jump into leaves, have a snowball fight;

- visit a farm or farmer’s market and pick fruit/veggies according to the season; or

- make a hand-print or pine cone turkey with leaves, cut out snowflakes, plant a pot of flowers, or make a daisy headband.

Enjoy the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEeTrj8A-5I

Find out more about Claudia Marie Lenart and her original wool illustrations at ClaudiaMarieFelt.com.

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