Firsts and Lasts: The Changing Seasons by Leda Schubert

First & Lasts: The Changing Seasons

Leda Schubert, Author

Clover Robin, Illustrator

Candlewick Press, Fiction, Mar. 1, 2022

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Seasons, Changes, Rituals, Celebration

Opening: Spring is…the last time we hear “Snow day!” on the news…

Book Jacket Synopsis:

What is the first sign of spring? And what is the last glimpse of winter? The joy of the changing seasons means saying hello to new but familiar rituals, like spring picnics in the park or homemade lemonade in summer. But there’s also the bittersweet feeling of doing something for the last time, like mowing the lawn one final time on a brown day in autumn, or watching the last of the geese fly south in the early weeks of winter. However you celebrate the changing of the seasons, every year feels like an extraordinary miracle! In this jubilant ode to seasonal rituals, Leda Schubert evokes the familiar, enchanting rhythm of the four seasons, while Clover Robin’s bold, graceful art bring warmth and magic to everyday occurrences.

Why I like First& Lasts: The Changing Seasons

Leda Schubert’s beautiful book is a ode to nature and a celebration of life in the human world. I really enjoy her simply stated format as children journey through the seasons. Each season begins with Spring is… “the last time we play in our snow forts…and the first time we time we play catch…” It is intended to stir up memories and create excitement for change that is about to come.  

Clover Robin’s colorful collages compliment the text and awaken reader’s five senses to the changing smells of freshly cut grass, the taste of cold lemonade, the feel of squishy grass on bare feet, the sound of June bugs hitting screens, and the site of the first frost on windowpanes. Children will have great fun coming up with the things that they look forward to in each season. And make sure you checkout her gorgeous book cover.

This is a lovely gift book.

Resources: Encourage children to think about activities and observances they associate with each changing season. Like the beginning of Little League baseball, flying kites, fishing, catching lightning bugs, planting a garden, attending parades, watching fireworks, taking a vacation, choosing the perfect  carving pumpkin, going on a hayride, and roasting marshmallows. Help them make a list for each season and then hand them crayons, paint and paper and let them celebrate moments that are important to them and to the family. Compile the drawings and make a simple book. 

Leda Schubert is the author of numerous books for children, including Dogs Love Cars, Nathan’s Son, the Brand New Reader’s series of Winnie books, Monsieur Marceau and many other award-winning books. Schubert has an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College, served on the Caldecott committee, and lives in Vermont with her husband and their goldendoodles.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for a review.