Nights are drawing in here in the UK, as we move towards wintertime but in the southern hemisphere, the world is heading into summer: so here are two beautiful picture-books which each contain a poem – one for winter and one for summer. One thing is certain: reading time will feel warm, whichever one you read; and they are such a visual treat too, that really they have to be a face-to face encounter.
The first is Jorge Luján’s poem Tarde de Invierno, translated into English as Winter Afternoon by Elisa Amado and empathetically illustrated by Mandan Sadat. It’s a short poem about a child looking out into the winter’s evening, waiting for her mother to come home: and when she does, the hug fits perfectly into the “vidrio del portarretrato”/ “the frosty frame” – so that the focus suddenly swings round and the little girl, the observer, is now the observed. And what a beautiful picture it is too. My children like this poem because it’s full of love. I like it , yes, for that reason too: but also because it helps to assuage some of the inevitable guilt of being a working mother…
The other poem transports us to the heat of the Australian Outback. Annaliese Porter was only eight years old when she wrote the poem – so this would also be a great classroom resource for raising aspiration. Here’s a small taste:
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On Uluru there are many shades
on the rocky eye –
browns and reds mingling
into a rich earthy dye.