Bookishness, Mamaishness, Teacherishness

In November.

Yesterday, a family friend passed down a few books to Bethany and Clara. Obviously, the girls were excited, but I might have been even more excited, because one of the books was something I’d loved and – somehow – forgotten.

In November by Cynthia RylantTold in the lyrical prose so beloved of Cynthia Rylant, In November walks through life on one family’s farm. There is no narrative; the text shares what different animals, plants, and people are doing as the season moves from fall toward winter. The paintings by Jill Kastner echo the text, calmly and simply depicting the farm’s preparation and celebration in the waning days of autumn. The book ends with a Thanksgiving meal, shared by family and friends, who travel to the farm and then leave again. The story’s meal is reminiscent of the seasonal change discussed throughout the book, of coming together and parting, and of things that end before they begin again.

“In November, some birds move away and some birds stay. The air is full of good-byes and well-wishes. The birds who are leaving look very serious. No silly spring chirping now. They have long journeys and must watch where they are going.”

The pattern to the text, where every other spread begins with the phrase “in November,” provides a great potential springboard for children to write their own small books or poems. If fall means a great deal in your part of the world, then they might want to write their own version of “In November.” What would it look like in a city? In a place where people spend more time inside than out?

Or, if fall is something your children/students only read about it in books, pick another month or season to commemorate. “In July” or “In March” could be just as interesting.

Another option would be to find a partner class or family in a different part of the country or world, and share your “In November” versions with each other. Create a photo journal of what “In November” means to you, and then share it. While there are sure to be some differences, it would be interesting to see the similarities, as well.

Curious as to how you might actually get that done? Check back tomorrow, and I’ll be sharing our family’s photos and text for our own “In November” story.

{The book links in this post are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Read It, Make It!}