This is the 2010 winner of the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award:
Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin, 2009)
Here is a Readers' Guide created by Lucy Barrow.
Sidman, J. (2009). Red Sings from Treetops; a year in colors. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books.
Recommended Age Levels:
Grades 1-4; Ages 6 - 9
Summary of Book:
This collection of poems cleverly describes each season through the use of color. The seasons have each color dancing, dripping, wafting, and pouring pictures into our imaginations. Each season uses all of the colors to set the scenery of weather, animals, and plants.
**Horn Book (starred review)
"A poet known for multilayered explorations of nature rejoices here in the way colors, and how we perceive them, change with the seasons . . .[with] the playfulness of the text and its sense of awe, mystery, and beauty."
**New York Times
"Joyce Sidman’s language is vivid and deft . . . [it] draws mystery and magic around the most familiar scenes."
**Kirkus (starred review)
"Fresh descriptions and inventive artistry are a charming inspiration to notice colors and correlate emotions."
**Bulletin (starred review)
"Talented poet Sidman fluidly moves from image to image, wittily personifying colors . . . the book has a freshness and visual impact all its own, and it will inspire a rainbow of uses."
**Booklist (starred review)
"Succeeding seasons offer . . . opportunities for the colors to spread their particular magic . . . . And as the title implies, the colors that surprise on every page do sing."
2010 Caldecott Honor Award
Claudia Lewis Poetry Award
Minnesota Book Award
Cybils Poetry Award
Horn Book Fanfare
Bulletin Blue Ribbon
Booklist Editor's Choice
CCBC Choices 2010
New York Public Library's "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing"
ABC "Indie" Best Book
Junior Library Guild Selection
Questions to ask before reading:
1.) When you look at the cover of the book, who or what do you think “red” is? What does it mean “a year in color”?
2.) What colors would you use to describe your home? What colors would you use to describe this classroom?
3.) How would you describe the season that we are in right now? How does it compare to other parts of the country?
Suggestions for reading poems aloud:
1.) Have the students wearing the colors in the book read the specific parts that relate to the color they are wearing.
2.) Have the students dress up for the four seasons and a read a poem from that part of the book.
3.) As the teacher reads the poems out loud to the students, have the students figure out what each color word is referring to.
1.) Science – Take the class on a nature walk around the school. Have the students write a poem about the objects and colors seen on the nature walk.
2.) Art – Have the students paint the each side of a wooden cube a different color. Then have the students write a poem for each side of the cube using that particular color.
3.) English – Have each student write their own poem about their favorite season with an illustration to go with it. Make a poetry book of the poems from the whole class, make a copy for each student, the principal, and the librarian to put on display.
Related Web Sites/Blogs:
1.) This is a website/blog that mainly recommends children’s books. It’s written by a current teacher: http://www.helpreaderslovereading.com/2010/02/red-sings-from-treetops-by-joyce-sidman.html
2.) This is an in depth activity guide for this book:
3.) Joyce Sidman’s Website:
4.) This website is a blog written by one of the judges on the Cybilis 2009 Poetry Panel that selected this book as the category winner:
Related Books (other poetry, related fiction, related nonfiction):
1. Brunhoff, L. D. (1984). Babar's Book of Colors. Random House Books for Young Readers. (Fiction)
2. Derolf, S. (1997). The Crayon Box that Talked. Random HouseBooks for Yuong Reader. (Poetry)
3. Jenkins, S. (2012). Living Color. Sandpiper. (Nonfiction)
4. Schnur, S. (1999). Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic. Clarion Books. (Poetry)