Lauren Stringer celebrates the coming of autumn in this exuberant, joyful ode to that magical time when the leaves are changing color and the animals are preparing for winter.
Children and animals alike excitedly anticipate yellow time, when the trees release their colorful leaves to blanket the earth, crows raise their voices joyfully from the bare branches, and squirrels busy themselves preparing their nests for winter. This lyrical celebration of the beauty and fun of autumn is sure to become a perennial fall favorite.
Lauren Stringer has illustrated many celebrated picture books, including Deer Dancer by Mary Lyn Ray; The Princess and Her Panther by Wendy Orr; Scarecrow and Snow, both written by Cynthia Rylant; as well as her own Winter Is the Warmest Season and When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky. She lives with her family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit her at LaurenStringer.com.
Autumnal bliss is at the heart of this poetic celebration of yellow foliage."Yellow time comes / before white time. / Every time." Watercolor-and-acrylic paintings are as invested in depicting the swirling motion of wind-swept clouds as they are in glorying in the yellow leaves that eventually fall from trees. The flap copy says that Stringer was inspired to write her text after seeing a grove of ash trees turn a brilliant shade of yellow in the fall, and this helps explain the monochromatic vision of autumn, devoid of oranges, reds, and browns, that fills the spreads. From page to page, a multiracial cast of children delights in the autumnal splendor, leaving their houses to cavort in the swirling, falling leaves together. A pet dog and cat, wild squirrels, and an abundance of black crows join in the revelry, their colors peppered across spreads dominated by a washing of golden yellows. The satisfying, bookish conclusion depicts siblings pressing leaves "in thick books to remember… / what a lovely yellow time it was." Lovely, indeed. (Picture book. 3-6)
– Kirkus Reviews, 6/15/16
Stringer re-creates those last days of autumn when the trees are no longer putting on a fiery show of colors and the leaves are one gusty day away from shuddering to the ground. Short, declarative, yet lyrical sentences set the stage (“The squirrels are too busy to notice, and the geese have already gone.”). Stringer continues to remind readers of the sounds (“Crows love yellow time. They fill still-leafy trees with their voices announcing its coming...”) and the smells (“wet mud and dry grass with a sprinkle of sugar”) of autumn and discusses the changing of the seasons (“Yellow time comes before white time. Every time.”). When the wind begins, everyone is ready: the trees, the children, the crows, and even the busy squirrels that use the fallen leaves for their lofty nests. The watercolor and acrylic illustrations, subtly reminiscent of Lois Lenski’s work, are full of movement and emotion. Stringer’s rendering of the autumn landscape and its diverse inhabitants, round faces lifted to the sky, remind readers of a moment in time. VERDICT This gorgeous picture book is a fine addition to seasonal and classroom collections, but it stands alone for its language and deft artwork. A lovely, evocative read-aloud.
– School Library Journal *STARRED*, July 2016
“Look outside! Yellow time is on its way.” In exuberant, expressive scenes of swirling yellow ash leaves on the wind, Stringer (When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky, 2013) playfully captures the anticipation of autumn. Children await the once-a-year fall event when the ash tree leaves turn a brilliant yellow. Several harbingers usher in yellow time, like geese leaving, squirrels collecting nuts, and crows that “fill still-leafy trees with their voices announcing its coming to everyone.” And when that moment arrives, when “the sky billows gray with clouds . . . WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH!” the brilliant yellow ovals swirl in the sky, collect in puddles, and create “a symphony of yellow.” In paintings rich with movement, echoing the twirling, swooping gusts of color, Stringer depicts a diverse array of children and families enjoying the fall weather, some of whom are making their own yellow paintings of the much loved leaves. Stringer’s lyrical text celebrates this fleeting moment in the fall season, and it’s beautifully paired with her bold, riotous yellow scenes. A perfect read-aloud for autumn. — Anita Lock
– Booklist, 7/1/16
Stringer (Deer Dancer) offers up a poetic meditation on the transient wonders of autumn—aka “yellow time”—finding delight in everything from the smells of the season (“Like wet mud and dry grass/ with a sprinkle of sugar”) to animals not always considered to be lovely in and of themselves (“Black crows fill bare branches/ and raise their voices/ in praise of yellow time”). Rendered in acrylic and oil, Stringer’s paintings burst with bright swaths of sunflower yellow as trees bend and sway in the wind, giving up their leaves in golden swirls and curls as jacketed children revel in the turbulent weather, making crowns from fallen leaves and saving some to press between book pages as mementos of the season. It’s a joyful reminder to make the most of fall when it’s here. Up to age 8.
– Publishers Weekly, July 4, 2016
Evoking the experience of watching leaves falling en masse from ash trees, this picture book celebrates the “yellow time” when “everywhere fills with yellow. A symphony of yellow.” The acrylic and watercolor paintings feature swirls and swoops of yellow leaves against black tree trunks and branches. One by one, children (and a dog) head outdoors and join up with one another, full of anticipation. Wearing sweaters and jackets, this diverse group of children together sniffs the air and watches the trees, waiting for the moment when the wind lifts and— “WHOOSH!”—the leaves begin to fly. The children are joined by others, who all dance and rejoice in the “yellow air.” There are no surprise twists here, just a gentle appreciation of the joys of using your senses to notice the changes outdoors as the seasons turn. From the book’s cover to the endpapers, yellow makes each picture glow, and curved lines repeat throughout the story to reinforce the beauty of the natural world.
– The Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2016
Yellow Time (Beach Lane /S&S) by Lauren Stringer is a joyfully illustrated, lyrical picture book about the fleeting days before the wind blows the fall leaves into a "symphony of yellow." It begins, "The squirrels are too busy to notice./ And the geese have already gone./ Other birds have left, too,/ but not the crows./ Crows love yellow time." Yellow Time is a celebration of autumnal leaves, captured in swirling watercolor and acrylic paintings of children and other busy creatures.