Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Julie Andrews' Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year

Julie Andrews' Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year

Selected by Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton
Illustrator:  Marjorie Priceman 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 and up
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012   ISBN: 978-0316040518

The year is full of special days. Some are personal, like the arrival of a new baby, a wedding, or a birthday, while others are holidays that millions of people enjoy. Then there are those days when the joys of the season seem to be especially noticeable. It might be a summer day when a child builds a sandcastle on a beach, which when the tide comes in, is “tumbled down / like dominoes.” At the other end of the year it might be a winter night when Jack Frost comes and leaves chilly “Willow trees with trailing boughs / And flowers – frosty white” on the window.

For this book, Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton have collected poems and songs that take readers through the year, and that celebrate the holidays, special days, and special moments that we enjoy. The collection is divided into seasons, and then subdivided into months. In each month, all the major holidays that occur during that month are featured, and additional poems and songs give readers the flavor of the season. For example for October there is a poem by Ogden Nash about Christopher Columbus for Columbus Day, there is a poem about Halloween, and then there are poems that give readers a taste of autumn. These include a poem about apples, which are such a joy to eat “In the firelight” when “they’ll be / The clear sweet taste / Of a summer tree.”

Each seasonal section is prefaced by a section of text where Julie Andrews and her daughter share their thoughts and memories, giving us a very personal look into their lives, and showing us how words, songs, and traditions are an integral part of their year.

This is a perfect book to dip into as the year unfolds, offering readers of all ages poems and songs that are beautiful, whimsical, amusing, and thought-provoking.