Tag Archives: barbara justin esbensen

Day 119 – Swing Around the Sun

So…it’s April and you’re looking for a book about seasons that also has poetry – you know, for National Poetry Month? Well, have we got the book for you! “Swing Around the Sun” is a charming¬†collection of seasonal poems by Barbara Juster Esbensen about the colors, events, and feelings that we typically identify with each of the seasons. It’s a book that is a joy to read aloud, and with¬†seasonally appropriate illustrations blanketing every page in color, it’s also an engaging work of art.swing

We were originally alerted to “Swing Around the Sun” by author Laura Purdie Salas – who mentioned that book as one of her inspirations during an online author event several weeks back at Read Aloud Revival. Ms. Esbensen has written five short and engaging poems for each season, with our favorite being “The Wind Woman”…in part because of the dramatic illustration that seems to show the face of the Wind Woman flying over the shadows of trees in the evergreen forest of winter.

Originally published in 1965, “Swing Around the Sun” was reissued in 2003 with an all-star cast of four illustrators – each one applying a unique style and creating a particular feeling around each of the seasons. As a side note, I did think it was interesting that each of the four illustrators currently lives in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. While I thought each artist’s style was appropriate for the chosen season, our favorite illustrations in their own right were Janice Lee Porter’s for Summer.swing 2

This was a very entertaining picture book, and one which I am glad to have added to our collection (poetry books are particularly nice to be able to pick up and read again and again). I will admit that I had to order a copy of the original 1965 edition as well, if only because I love the old-school look of the orange and yellow sun illustration on the front cover. Hey – having two copies can’t hurt…can it? We’re not entirely buried in books yet!