We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our favorite season than by taking a peek at Buffy Silverman’s brand new picture book, On a Gold-Blooming Day: Finding Fall Treasures (Millbrook Press, 2022).
Just released September 6, it’s the perfect companion to On a Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring (2020). With spare rhyming verse and gorgeous full-color photos, Buffy showcases some of the fascinating and wondrous ways plants and animals prepare for this season of change.
On a gold-blooming, bee-zooming, sun-dazzling day . . . Snakes glide. Spiders hide. Crickets chirp. Butterflies slurp. Fluff lifts. Seed drifts.
Her pitch perfect, lyrical text is a sheer joy to read aloud with its inventive hyphenated adjectives and rhyming couplets, where choice verbs power a fun, easy rhythm. Who can resist “gold-blooming,” “bee-zooming,” and “sun-dazzling”? Or “rattle-skedaddle,” “scoop-swoop”? From the very beginning, Buffy’s ebullient words pull us right in.
A lifelong nature lover who has her own backyard meadow and lives “at the swampy end of a small lake with frogs, turtles, and woods as neighbors,” Buffy has an intimate knowledge of the small animals and insects thriving in her unique habitat. On daily walks, she observes, marvels at, and photographs the flora and fauna from season to season.
Kids will be delighted reading about and seeing snakes, spiders, crickets, butterflies, frogs, geese, otters, deer, fish, muskrats, swallows and woodpeckers, as these creatures feed and fatten up, build or shore up their homes, or gather for migration – all in anticipation of winter.
Love the sensory details in the text; we can feel how “Breezes chill” as “Clouds rumble” and “Raindrops tumble.” References to plant life are especially enchanting, with mention of seed dispersion (“Fluff lifts,” “Seed drifts”) and the spontaneous appearance of mushrooms that “pop” through damp soil.
Of course the changing colors of fall are the most dramatic visual treasure, as we see the “Sumacs blaze,” glorious red and orange maple leaves, and the bright yellow of goldenrod. The sun shining through the trees in the final double page spread is simply stunning.
Backmatter includes interesting notes about the animals, insects, plants, and weather events mentioned in the text. Here, young readers will be delighted to learn about why those crickets are chirping, that Monarch butterflies slurp sugary nectar for energy to fuel their migrations, and how we’re able to see the yellow and orange pigments previously hidden in leaves because of photosynthetic changes.
I confess my favorite lines have to do with “nut-crunching” and “leaf-lunching.” So clever! I imagine budding poets will enjoy playing with words in similar fashion as they write their own poems.
Best of all, kids may be inspired to get outside and explore fall’s many wonders for themselves. It’s never too early to encourage an appreciation for the natural world, no better way to acquire it than firsthand experience. Once people begin to care, stewardship often follows. We need more environmentalists!
Since most of the treasures featured in this book are common in the northeastern and midwestern United States, many of the photos featured scenarios I am well familiar with: squirrels burying acorns, the sudden appearance of giant mushrooms, fawns nibbling on grass and twigs (I throw the occasional apples outside for them too), hearing the geese honking en route to their winter homes, and those persistent woodpeckers pecking not only on dead trees, but on our house!
Fall is a busy, beautiful season with changes large and small, and as the final lines say,
Leaf piles call . . .
Don’t miss this treasure of a book. It’s pure gold. 🙂
ON A GOLD-BLOOMING DAY: Finding Fall Treasures
written by Buffy Silverman
published by Millbrook Press, September 2022
Nonfiction Picture Book for ages 4-9, 32 pp.
*Includes Endnotes, Suggestions for Further Reading, and Glossary
♥️ Buffy discusses what inspired her to write the book at Reflections on the Teche.
🐿 SPECIAL BOOK GIVEAWAY! 🍁
The publisher is generously offering a brand new copy of On a Gold-Blooming Day for one lucky Alphabet Soup reader. For a chance to win, please leave a comment at this post telling us about your favorite fall treasure no later than midnight (EDT) Wednesday, October 5, 2022. You may also enter by sending an email with GOLD in the subject line to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com. Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. only, please. Good Luck!
Rose Cappelli is hosting the Roundup at Imagine the Possibilities. Zoom on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up around the blogosphere this week. Enjoy your weekend!
*Interior spreads text copyright © 2023 Buffy Silverman, photos copyright © 2023 Buffy Silverman and others, published by Millbrook Press. All rights reserved.
**Copyright © 2022 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.