A Caldecott Honor book, first published in 1965 then reprinted in 1999 with new illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, A Child’s Calendar takes readers through a year’s worth of verse as a racially mixed family enjoys each month. Updike has written one poem for each month of the year. We are ushered through the seasons with sweet, simple stanzas that celebrate all the varied scenes and rituals that children—and those former children, adults—treasure over time.
Hyman’s illustrations are crowded with what appears to be a tight-knit, racially mixed family as well as a racially mixed, easygoing small-town community.
Hyman’s vision and Updike’s verse offer up a world where race matters far less than things like gathering together to share a meal, to rake leaves, or plant tomatoes. This is an ideal world of simple pleasures—a visual representation of the harmonic dream adults should hold on to and to which children should aspire to create.
Reviewer: Maggie Trapp