Illustrated by: Winifred Barnum-Newman (and several others)
Published: Words in the Works LLC, 2014
Print Length: 38 pages
Narrated By: N/A
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Poetry, Children’s Poetry, Picture Book, American Poetry
Where Did I Get It? I kindly received a copy from the publishers in return for an honest review.
Blurb: From the playful teasing of shoe fashionistas, to more somber and thought-provoking themes, the messages in the rhymes from this first-time author are cleverly written and craftily disguised in the age-old style and beat of the English classics.While the layered messages behind these simply written, but light-hearted rhymes, may not be immediately recognizable, the references made to the more serious societal concerns of our country are evident in the beautifully illustrated pages. Including all the repercussions of illegal immigration, financial advisors run amok, homelessness, the health care crisis, global warming, and more; this country’s current economic, political and environmental challenges have been creatively captured by sixteen of today’s most-loved children’s book illustrators.
There was not an inch to spare
With ten in the chair,
As one was more than plenty.
For if a leg should break
From under the weight,
The chair would soon be empty.
That Day In September is a very interesting read from the point of view of a British family. The bases of the poems are very familiar – I quite enjoyed figuring out the original poems used as inspiration for the ones in the book – but the words are new and carry their own messages and meanings.
I think the American/British divide did actually make quite a difference with the reading of the poems – there were a few American terms that just lost me (I had to look up what a barrette was for example – hair clip, if you were wondering) and that lost the meaning of the poems a little bit. Once I had familiarised myself with the words and their meanings, the poems themselves read a lot easier.
Words themselves aside, a few of the themes themselves stuck on the wrong side of the Pond. I had to look up what happened in 2008 because the date of Obama’s election isn’t something we remember so clearly and although September 11th is an important part of our history it is not so prevalent that my children are aware of it yet aged 3 and 5. When it does come to a time where they are leaning about it though, That Day In September will be an excellent way to introduce the subject.
The illustrations in the book are really good – each page spread by a different illustrator – and they are well thought through and cover a range of different styles across the book. I particularly liked that there are pages at the back of the book explaining the inspiration behind the words and the process behind the pictures – these helped give me things to talk about with the kids and explained the meanings behind the poems.
Overall this is a great quality book and I enjoyed looking through it but it felt very much aimed at an American audience rather than a British one.
My Rating: 3.5/5*