Catherynne M. Valente
W. Lyon Martin
Smoky is enchanted with flowers and loves spending time digging, pruning and planting away in her mommy's garden. As the fall approaches and the flowers die, she is saddened by their loss and the emptiness of the garden. In order to ease her pain she ventures on a walk in the forest where a candlelit feast awaits her. The table is laced with scrumptious foods and decadent desserts. Smoky is welcomed to the table by a circle of woodland animals, baby new year and the Goddess Equinox. Here they celebrate Mabon, the start of fall by feasting and dancing all through the night. Smoky learns that change in nature is good and should be cherished.
This beautifully illustrated book, full of rich reds, blue hues and subtle green watercolors and India ink adds to the vibrancy and charm of Smoky's world. Playful phrases abound when Valente compares flowers to lollipops. "Tangy pine smells" and "burning wood" capture the essence of fall, when the smell of something new and wonderful ignites the senses. This enchanting, hopeful story reminds young readers and old alike of the magic of the seasons, the earth and how all endings have a beginning.
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-Kids Book Junky