[review + giveaway] On a Gold-Blooming Day by Buffy Silverman

Hello, Autumn!

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,
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 . . .
Welcome, fall!

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.

♥️ More reviews: Linda Baie at TeacherDance, Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink, and Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone.

Amazon || Bookshop



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.

48 thoughts on “[review + giveaway] On a Gold-Blooming Day by Buffy Silverman

  1. I cannot resist! And, I can’t wait to share this book with young writers as a mentor text. It’s just so beautiful. Thank you for the fabulous review. I will make sure to ask my library to get it for their shelves–I think I already have but I’ll double check to make sure. Thanks, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fall is here, and appropriately, it’s the first morning here in NYC where I had to put a robe on over my summer nightgown when I woke up! Pure Heaven! I know just the little boy who will love this book. His name is Michael and he lives in upstate NY! He has a special affinity for frogs and all things “Nature”! Thank you, Jama!

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  3. A true treasure. Lovely to share. Thank you, Jama, for highlighting this magical book. Looking forward to exploring all the sights and sounds of my favorite season!

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  4. What a wonderful book for my favorite time of year. I also had to put on a sweater this morning, lovely. My favorite treasure is acorns! I love the shapes, feels and the ideas they spark for play and decor. Thanks for brightening up my morning

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s too hard to pick one–fall is my favorite sesdon, especially in New England! Fiery leaves, crisp sweater-wearing weather, cornflower blue skies, montauk daisies & mums, everything pumpkin & cinnamon. And of course, apple crisp!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s too hard to pick one–fall is my favorite season, especially in New England! Fiery leaves, crisp sweater-wearing weather, cornflower blue skies, montauk daisies & mums, everything pumpkin & cinnamon. And of course, apple crisp!

    And the book looks and sounds like a lovely homage to autumn 🍂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful review, Jama, although I’ve read & shared, & thanks for the mention, you’ve reminded me of how much Buffy has shown the marvelous parts of fall. There are favorite lines & pictures on every page, right? I do love “bee-zooming,” however! No need to put me in the giveaway! Thanks and Happy Autumn!

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  8. What a wonderful review, and I can’t wait to read this book! I love so much about fall, but this morning I appreciated the crisp, cool air. Fall blew in on the wings of the wind overnight, and I’m ready.

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  9. What a wonderful post and book! I love Buffy’s work, her word play combined with her ability to observe and really see nature. One of the many things I love about fall are the geese, the way they gather and fly overhead.

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  10. Jama, as you may know from my review and mentions of Buffy’s book that I am showcasing the book in my home decor. People entering my home will see the gorgeous book in my library on display for little hands to pick up. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I stack memory items for display along with new attractions. Northern Virginia was awaiting fall and this morning the crisp air and the bright sunshine woke us all up for what comes next. Thanks for your fabulous book review and mention of my blog where my book review is featured.

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  11. I can’t wait to read this book! Fall is my favorite season, and these excerpts of Buffy’s book are glorious! My own favorite fall treasure is the cliche of beautiful leaves–but if I can pick fall moments, then it’s standing outside watching honking Canada geese fly overhead, or it’s sitting on the deck reading, wrapped up in a sweater and electric lap blanket, or it’s drinking hot cocoa, or it’s marveling at how blue a fall sky can be…too many favorites to pick just one. :>)

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    1. Yum, sipping cocoa while reading a good book, yes! Seems fall is everyone’s favorite season and with good reason. I don’t think beautiful leaves will ever become cliche. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s one of a book’s most treasured gifts that it can make you not only appreciate but see people and the world in different lights. I’m looking forward to sharing this book with my eight year granddaughter. She loves to read and I think our Autumn walks will take on new magic. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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  13. Oh, I love Buffy and her books! My favorite fall treasure, at least today, is the ripe crab apples falling outside my window. I should say they are the deers’ favorite treasure, though, as they congregate in our backyard to eat the red treats.

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  14. Just gorgeous! Buffy I hope you’ll write a sequel about all the super reds in autumn also! Red swamp maples are my favorite sight on New England roadsides in autumn. And red apples! Off to make some apple crisp as Maria suggested in her comment above!

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  15. Hooray for Buffy! This new book looks amazing. Fall is my favorite time of year. If you have read my blog this week, you’ll know that I think of fall as the time for fat hummingbirds. You don’t hear often about birds fattening up for winter. Nor can you actually observe the changes in their bodies. But hummingbirds are so small, there is no way for them to hide the bulge they put on before they head south. I feel like I am in on a special secret of nature every time I see a fat hummingbird at one of my feeders or in my flower beds. So, that’s one of my fall treasures. (P.S. I have a PB manuscript about this – just haven’t found an agent or editor who wants it. So, if anyone’s interested… :))

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