Review of Do I Have to Wear a Coat?: A Journey Through the Seasons

Do I Have to Wear a Coat?: A Journey Through the Seasons
by Rachel Isadora; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g
3/20    978-0-525-51660-6    $17.99

Isadora’s (I Hear a Pickle, rev. 1/16) characteristic ink and watercolor art uses vignettes set against white backgrounds to show children joyfully experiencing the changing seasons. At the start of each section (and season) a young girl looks up at a tree. As the year unfolds and the seasons change, so too do the tree and the girl’s clothing. Brief text and coordinating illustrations highlight the distinct natural elements and activities that each season brings (at least in northern climes). Statements about the seasons (“In summer, bees buzz”; “Fall is for hayrides, pumpkins, and trick-or-treating”) are interspersed with children’s first-person narrations (“We skate on the ice. / We breathe the frosty air”). The final page completes the cyclical journey, bringing readers back to the beginning by answering the title’s question: “In spring I wore a raincoat. / In summer it was too hot for a coat. / In fall we wore sweaters. / In winter I HAD to wear a coat!”

From the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine.

Emmie Stuart
Emmie Stuart
Emmie Stuart is a school librarian at the Percy Priest Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee.

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