"In Spring
Red sings
from treetops:
each note dropping
like a cherry
into my ear."

Joyce Sidman has written a joyful celebration of the four seasons that is both lyrical and endearing in this picture book for children aged four through eight. The illustrator Pamela Zagarenski has fashioned her art out of mixed media paintings on wood and computer illustration. The eye is trained to notice the primary colors of red, green, yellow, and blue, as well as shades of pink, purple, orange, brown, grey, black, and white. The identifications are enchanting:

"Green is queen
in summer.
Green trills from trees,
clings to Pup's knees,
covers all with leaves."

"Fall smells
old leaves, crushed berries,
squishy plums with worms in them.
Purple: the smell
of all things
mixed together."

To prance through the imaginative world created by Sidman and Zagarenski is to feel like a king or queen. And that's an appropriate phrase since the characters in the story have crowns. Red Sings from Treetops acknowledges the beauty all around us and the beauty within our imaginations. No wonder it is a Caldecott Honor Book Award!