Caroline Pignat is the author of the The Gospel Truth, which won the 2015 Governor Generals Award for Children’s Literature – Young Adult Text. That novel is written in free verse.
In this new picture book for a younger audience, Pignat uses rhyming couplets and acrostic poetry, to follow the growth of a tree through the changing seasons, and to share the inevitability and repetition of the seasonal cycle. Pignat’s exquisite word choice (e.g. “laden limb”, “leafy canvas”, “brittle bark”) and imagery (e.g. “white quilt of winter”, “Brittle bark hugs the aging tree”) are precise and expressive…
Icy boughs of
Evergreen. A song –
Then all is still.
Francois Thisdale’s richly textured, full page paintings add lush, vibrant context and include details that enrich the sparse text of the acrostic poems. Often the tree is featured in the season showing both above and below ground scenes. The activities of animals, birds and a lone farmer portray a farm landscape teaming with life.
The acrostic poem is a poetry form that upper elementary students often explore and this would be an excellent resource for teaching how each poem relates to its topic word and providing students with exemplars to inspire their own writing in this literary form.