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A NEW GREEN DAY by Antoinette Portis


by Antoinette Portis ; illustrated by Antoinette Portis

Pub Date: April 21st, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4488-5
Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

In a series of nature riddles that beg to be read aloud, a child finds joy and wonder in the great outdoors.

Prolific author and illustrator Portis leads readers through a summer day spent outside. Through gentle, brain-teasing verse, aspects of the natural world introduce themselves to the story’s only human character, who sports dark pigtails and a warm brown complexion. As readers follow along, they too are treated to a delightful guessing game: Based on the poetically brief clues, what everyday plant, animal, or weather pattern is calling out to be discovered by the protagonist? For example: “I’m a mountain that moves. Look, I come to you,” one clue begins. With the turn of the page, the natural element’s identity is revealed with the simple completion of the sentence: “says cloud,” here accompanied by a breezy, textured illustration of an overcast sky. Because the answer to each riddle is declared on the subsequent spread, readers have a chance to brainstorm as they approach each intimation. Though this formula carries throughout the text, the book remains straightforward and engaging thanks to Portis’ fresh take on familiar outdoor sights. Very young children will love reading along with adults, who can help them make sense of the sometimes-abstract hints; older kids will have fun making guesses on their own. This sweet celebration of summertime, nature, and youthful curiosity is a worthy addition to school and public libraries and personal collections alike.

Simple, poetic, and fun.

(Picture book. 4-9)