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Middle-school librarians Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan prove that two heads are better than one when it comes to discussing YA and children's books

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Friday, January 4, 2013 8:06 pm
A Year with Friends by John Seven
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: What is your favorite season? I always have a hard time choosing and A Year With Friends (Abrams/Appleseed 2012) makes it even harder. Each double page spread features a month with charming paneled illustrations that include a young girl and and her dog or a boy and his cat enjoying the special time the season provides. Eventually the two children meet and share adventures in the fall and into the New Year.

January…is time for rolling down hills.

April…is time to get messy.

June is time for bugs.

The text is minimal, but sets the stage beautifully for the action in Jana Christy’s illustrations. Delights in nature, holidays, weather, and traditions are all displayed in cheery bright paintings that will allow very young children to create their own stories. February is usually my least favorite month. I’m tired of winter and impatient for spring that doesn’t show up for real in Michigan until May, but Seven and Christy help me find new appreciation for February here. “February is time for snuggling.” (The boy is reading a book under a warm blanket with cup of hot chocolate and his cat brings a valentine and climbs up to read and snuggle with him.) I challenge you to pick your favorite month from this fun collection.

Lynn: I tested this book on 2-year-old Henry when he was here and it was a hit.  He especially loved “April is time to get messy” and “June is time for bugs.”   Sigh, have I mentioned that there are ALL boys in my family?  Cindy is right that this is a great book for young children, boys  and girls.  Each 2-page spread is a charming reveal about something to enjoy in each new month.  So many preschools, day cares and kindergartens do ongoing units on seasons and the calendar and this will make a wonderful addition to those units.   Jana Christy’s illustrations have a cheerful exuberance that young readers respond to right away.

I loved “July is time for fireworksand the final pages A New Year is time for fun with new friends!”  That is our wish to all our Bookends readers too!  We hope the New Year brings you all good health, happiness and many new friends!


3 Responses to “A Year with Friends by John Seven”
  1. Jeff Rivera Says:

    You are right, Cindy. The book makes it hard for anyone to pick a favorite month. I love the concept and It’s a simple and interesting book to teach children months and seasons. “February is time for snuggling.” is actually my favorite .

    Thanks for the wishes, Lynn and happy new year to you and Cindy.

  2. betty arengi Says:

    Congrads! I can picture your boys in every single month. I would like to think the “rolling down hills” is at the log cabin! You guys are great and we are so proud of you both!

  3. A lovely review of A Year With Friends – john and jana Says:

    [...] This is from the Booklist blog, Book Ends [...]

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