by Amber Antymniuk
Published by Blow Creative Arts
Review by Sally Meadows
$23.00 ISBN 9781999546236
Amber Antymniuk’s newest children’s picture book, Prairie Seasons, is a child’s-perspective love song to life on the prairies throughout the year. With its glorious sing-song rhythm, this book begs to be read out loud, and will be enjoyed not only by the young children it is written for, but also by the adults who read to them.
Amber is both writer and illustrator of Prairie Seasons. She has done an admirable job of creating a lyrical narrative that appeals to all of our senses. As a songwriter and former teacher, I personally am drawn to children’s books that rhyme, and Amber has done a wonderful job of creating phrases with movement and flow. Some of her phrasings are quite lovely (“tucking the earth in as summer fades”) and detailed in a way that is fresh and new (“Some days are so frigid that ice forms within our nostrils”).
Amber’s illustrations have a lovely soft appeal that perfectly complement her words. Watercolour and ink are her media of choice, and her attention to detail effectively showcases her ability as an artist to capture elements of the flora and fauna, prairie landscapes, and everyday activities that bring joy to kids.
This book takes me back to the time that my own two boys were little, when the world around them provided an endless source of wonder. As a reader and reviewer, I am torn between wanting to see more prairie-specific images, and undertanding the author’s need to portray more universal childhood experiences like splashing in mud puddles and making a ladybug pet for readers across Canada and beyond.
Amber Antymniuk grew up on an acreage outside of Tisdale, Saskatchewan and is a former teacher of Arts Education in Saskatoon. Her words and artwork reflect her observations of and love for nature as filtered through the eyes of her children. As both writer and illustrator of her books, Amber adds extra value to her school visits (K-8) with her ability to incorporate a range of curriculum requirements (Arts Education, English Language Arts, cross-curricular) into her presentations. You can learn more about Amber at https://www.blowcreativearts.ca/.
THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR FROM WWW.SKBOOKS.COM.