Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Red Sings from Treetops a Year in Colors

Sidman, Joyce. 2009. RED SINGS FROM TREETOPS. Boston: Harcourt. ISBN 9780547014944

Plot Summary
Sidman evokes excitement for the changing season through changing colors.  The whimsical character cutouts delight and relish in the colors and scenes.  The book begins with the newness of spring, through the buzzing birds and bees of summer, rolling through the mysteries of fall, and finding the colors from within during the white winter season.  

Critical Analysis
Sidman creates a dreamy scene with her clear yet profound poetry.  Zagarenski's illustrations bring the colors of each poem to life with gorgeous artful collages.  The printed cutouts interact in a magical fashion with the boldly painted portions of each page.  Fonts are used to create texture in the rooftop of spring and to achieve word play in the leaves of the fall trees.  Sidman explores the mysteries of summer:  "Deep, wild Black that stares from the eyes of a surprised raccoon.  Black in my own eyes staring back."  In winter, Red is discovered in various forms including the bird's song, when "each note drops like a cherry into my ear." Red Sings from Treetops evokes emotions of joy, nostalgia, excitement and love, and it is a beautiful read for people of all ages.

2010 Caldecott Honor Book

"As the title implies, the colors that surprise on every page do sing." -- Ilene Cooper. Booklist

"This poetic tribute to the seasons will brighten dull days." -- Julie Roach. School Library Journal

"The regal elegance is sure to charm." -- Publishers Weekly


  • Teachers can introduce the book by having students choose their favorite seasons and describe the sights, sounds, smells and other elements of the season.  
  • During the reading, children can be split up into color groups.  When each color appears in the reading students in that group can change the color and/or use sign language for the the color.  
  • After reading and viewing the bold style of art, children can break in to groups of seasons and create shadow boxes using collage and paint.    

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