The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Stories of Time, Seasons, and Holidays - May 2014

Stories for storytelling selected and annotated by Emily Bayci


Aliki. The Twelve Months. Greenwillow, 1978. 32p. 5-8 yrs.
Twelve spirits ask two women to settle a discussion about the different seasons in this brightly illustrated story. The woman who speaks kindly about the seasons receives a bountiful basket of food, while the rude woman receives worms.

Baden, Robert. And Sunday Makes Seven. Whitman, 1990. 40p. 5-8 yrs.
In this book peppered with Spanish vocabulary, twelve witches reward Carlos for finishing their song about the days of the week, but when Carlos' greedy cousin Ricardo sings for the witches, he receives a nasty surprise.

Belting, Natalia. Calendar Moon. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964. 72p. 10-14 yrs.
This collection features an array of poetic legends and beliefs from around the world connecting the moon and the seasons. Each month of the Western calendar is matched with a poem of that season and a moon, such as the friendly moon (February) of Japan, and the grumbling moon (May-June) from the Maori people.

Bowen, Betsy. Antler, Bear, Canoe: A Northwoods Alphabet Year. Joy Street/Little, 1991. 32p. Gr. 1-3.
Travel through a year and the alphabet word-by-word in Minnesota, accompanied by woodcut imagery and explanatory captions, in this evocative picture book.

Bunting, Eve. A Day’s Work; illus. by Ronald Himler.Clarion, 1994. 32p. 4-7 yrs.
Young Francisco convinces an owner of a gardening service to hire his Spanish-speaking grandfather for a day. In the day’s work, his grandfather manages to botch the gardening job, but he saves himself by promising to fix everything the next day.

Christian, Mary Blount. April Fool; illus. by Diane Dawson. Macmillan, 1981. 48 p. 5-9 yrs.
Seth the Dreamer saves the town of Gotham from inhabitance by the intolerable King John in this story of the first April Fools' Day.

Da Costa, Deborah. Hanukkah Moon; illus. by Gosia Mosz. Kar-Ben, 2007. 32p. 5-8 yrs.
Isobel isn’t sure her Aunt Luisa, who has recently moved from Mexico, knows how to properly celebrate Hanukkah. Not only does Aunt Luisa know how to celebrate Hanukkah, she introduces Isobel to the Hanukkah Moon.

DeSpain, Pleasant. Eleven Nature Tales: A Multicultural Journey; illus. byJoe Schlichta. 91p. Gr. 3-5.
This collection of folktales from around the world tells exciting stories that teach engaging lessons about nature.

Fenner, Phyllis R. Feasts and Frolics; Special Stories for Special Days; illus. by Helen R. Durney. Knopf, 1949. 159pg. 10-12 yrs.
This collection of seventeen stories celebrates holidays and special days of the year from rainy days to Halloween to Abe Lincoln’s birthday.

Fregosi, Claudia. Snow Maiden. Prentice-Hall, 1979. 28p. Gr. 1-3.
This Russian rendering of the myth of Persephone depicts the mythology behind Spring, with the Queen in this version being the daughter of Frost and Wind who melts away when caught in the sun without her husband.

Horowitz, Dave. Duck Duck Moose; written and illus. by Dave Horowitz. Putnam, 2009. 32p. 5-8 yrs.
Moose don’t migrate, but the moose in this story has friends, the Ducks, who do. Moose decides to go along for the ride and discovers what it means to migrate . . . or vacation.

Hughes, Paul.  The Days of the Week. Young Library, 1982. 62p. Gr. 3-5.
This book features a mixture of facts, stories, songs, proverbs, and traditions about the days of the week from all over the world. Sections include explanations about why a week has seven days, rhymes about the days, and more.

James, Simon. Days Like This: A Collection of Small Poems. Candlewick, 2000. 45p. Gr. 2-5.
Nineteen short poems combined with easy rhymes and colorful illustrations cheerfully describe different days paired with scenes of nature from “Sleeping Outdoors” on a summer night to “Sledding” during a winter day.

Leslie, Clare Walker. Nature All Year Long. Greenwillow, 1991. 56p. Gr. 2-4.
Complete with fun facts, colorful illustrations, a section on each month of the year, and projects to complete, this book teaches readers about changing seasons and the adaptability of nature.

Lindbergh, Reeve. The Circle of Days; illus. by Cathie Felstead. Candlewick, 1998. 26p. 4-6 yrs.
This oversized picture book based on St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of the Sun" gives thanks and depicts the stories of time and nature.

Marriott, Alice. Winter Telling Stories. Crowell, 1969. 82p. Gr. 3-5.
This is a collection of Kiowa folktales that are to be told in the winter. The stories all center around Saynday and his involvement with natural events on the southern plains.

Otten, Charlotte. January Rides the Wind: A Book of Months; illus. by Todd L.W. Doney. 32p. 5-8 yrs.
This poetic calendar depicts the twelve months, each with a lush double-page spread and free-verse poem.

Powell, Patricia Hruby. Blossom Tales: Flower Stories of Many Folk. Moon Mountain, 2002. 32p. Gr. 3-5.
This collection offers fourteen short tales related to flowers. The naturalistic stories derive from countries around the world and contain typical folk elements of danger, death, and destruction.

Reiss, Mike. Merry Un-Christmas; illus. by David Catrow. HarperCollins, 2006. 32p. 5-8 yrs.
Every day is Christmas in this comic reversal story. Noelle is bored with presents—even ponies—so she waits breathlessly for the once-a-year Un-Christmas, when the mailman visits and children are allowed to attend school.

Yolen, Jane, ed. Favorite Folktales from Around the World. Pantheon, 1986. 498p. Ages 9 and up.
This collection of 155 folktales explores universal themes of life, death, and time, and it includes the Romanian tale “Youth without Age and Life Without Death,” in which two men search for immortality.

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