July 10, 2016

GOODBYE SUMMER, HELLO AUTUMN

I was so excited to receive Kenard Pak's upcoming picture book Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn in the mail a few weeks ago. It was evident from the cover that it would be a gorgeous book, and the text is engaging, but it's the visual story that truly shines as we follow a child who travels to a local town and home again.

Pak's watercolor-and-pencil depiction of the changing seasons is subtle and clever, and there are some fantastic details to watch for throughout the book: we follow the animals and people who join the young child on a journey from home to town and back home again; we watch the child pick flowers in the meadow and slowly give them out to people in town; and as we scroll through the spreads we watch the seasons slowly change from summer to autumn.


Pak gives us a good sense of space in the book. We either see the child walking toward the right side of the book (into town), or we see the child walking toward the left side of the book (back home). This visual detail is subtle but clever and indicates to readers where the child is on the journey.


One thing I would have appreciated was knowing the child's motivation for walking into town. There are no visual or textual clues to give the journey any deeper meaning, and I think it would have given the child some interesting characterization. But we definitely get to know the child through the kindness shown toward others, which is enough to keep me emotionally invested.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn is out August 16 from Macmillan!