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On my first day of summer,

the sunshine brought to me

A song sparrow nest for three.*


A seek and find book, set in rural Ontario.  All the flowers and plants and creatures are things I know from my own backyard.  They multiply in number daily -- following the pattern of The Twelve Days of Christmas, so you can even sing along.


Turn a page, you’ll be soaring through the sky with the hawks.  Another page?  You’ll be below ground, a-burrowing through the earth with the moles. 


Someone else is watching besides you.   Someone is leaving just the right gifts --  a sock for the snakes to tunnel through, a jar of honey for the bumble bees, a trumpet for those ten crows.  


The climax comes on day twelve, of course.   Can you see the bird babies?  There are indeed three in the song sparrow nest but, look, the grouse, the swallows have been hatching their eggs as well. 


A page of Facts Common and Curious at the end of the book tells more.  Neat quirks of nature -- like how the grouse drum with their wings when mating, how moles have backwards and forwards fur.


The illustrator is a friend who proved to be just as enthusiastic about my surroundings as I am.  That shows.  In CM Magazine, reviewer Valerie Nielson wrote, “”To create this profusion of flora and fauna Susan Jolliffe has filled every page right up to its edges.  Her fascination and expertise in all aspects of nature and ecology are evident in her art work, which simply bursts forth.” 


Turns out we were both nature lovers as children.  We both raised caterpillars and tadpoles, we both pored over animal books, we both spent hours studying the happenings amid grasses and trees.




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jandrews@magma.ca



*The Twelve Days of Summer©2005 Jan Andrews, Orca Book Publishers

www.orcabook.com

THE TWELVE DAYS OF SUMMER

By JAN ANDREWS

Illustrations by SUSAN RENNICK JOLLIFFE


ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS

$9.95  Ages 4-8

ISBN 978-1-55143-735-4

Cover image: with permission Orca Book Publishers.  All rights reserved.