*Picture book for preschoolers through second graders
*Rating: Red Sings from Treetops is a beautiful picture book that explores the seasons and the colors in them.
Short, short summary: If you are looking for a new book to teach colors or seasons, then Red Sings from Treetops might be just what you are looking for. Joyce Sidman, an award-winning poet, starts with spring and the color red in spring–from the buds and cardinals to the red worms after rain. She goes onto summer where “white clinks in drinks” and “yellow melts everything it touches.” Fall comes next, of course, and this time, “yellow grows wheels” because the bus is taking the children to school. And finally, the picture book ends in winter and with red and the cardinals again. It is a circle story.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. You can ask students to focus only on the colors when you read this book if that is the objective that you are teaching. You can even assign a certain color to certain children, and ask them to be able to tell you objects from the book that are that color when you are finished reading. The fun thing about this book is that sometimes Joyce Sidman does not just come out and tell you what objects she is talking about. For example, the first page of summer says, “White clinks in drinks.” She is talking about ice, but students would have to use the illustrations and their listening skills to figure that out. You can do a shared writing when you are finished reading. Students can tell you things in the book that are red or blue or so on, and then you can add items from your room to the color lists also.
2. Children who are learning the seasons will also benefit from this book. You can ask students to draw pictures of their favorite season and write a sentence about it. They can base their illustrations on the illustrations by Pamela Zagarenski, which are lovely and full of color!
3. One of the 6 traits of writing is word choice. This book is an excellent study in word choice. Joyce Sidman is a master at language and the text sings to the readers. Ask students to pick out some of their favorite phrases and sentences, and discuss why they like these word choices.