During our recent trip to The Boulder Bookstore, my wife and I both bought a copy of Nature's Paintbox by Patricia Thomas. I bought one for my classroom and she bought one for our at-home library (bargain priced - an added bonus)! This books introduces the four seasons through art and poetry. Each season is described in a different medium - pen and ink for winter, pastel chalk for spring, watercolor for summer, and oils for fall.
It begins, "Nature sketches WINTER, I think, in pen and ink... black and white; sharp and clear and fine; no colors to blur the line... or maybe, just a bit at a time... berries on a bush; cardinals on a branch; a red mailbox flag winking a cheery hello, snuggled under its caps of snow..." Craig Orback's illustrations are the perfect compliment to the author's words.
Patricia Thomas is also the author of another favorite of mine, Firefly Mountain. I use it when my students and I study "Endurance and Stamina"... I wrote about it on p. 60 of Conferring: The Keystone of Reader's Workshop (http://www.stenhouse.com/shop/pc/viewprd.asp?idProduct=9179).
Nature's Paintbox was a terrific find for $5.98. A perfect book to use as both mentor text as writers and perhaps within a study of illustration.