Cover image for A child's calendar
A child's calendar
Updike, John.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston, MA : National Braille Press, [2004?]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) of print and braille : color illustrations ; 25 cm
A collection of twelve poems describing the activities in a child's life and the changes in the weather as the year moves from January to December.
General Note:
Thermoform braille leaves alternate with print pages.

Reprinted. Originally published: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.
Reading Level:
Grades K-3.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 45399.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.5 2 Quiz: 17570 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3571.P4 C49 2004 Print Braille Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Each of these twelve poems celebrate the familiar but wondrous qualities that make each month of the year unique. Vibrant paintings follow the members of a busy, contented family through the seasons, capturing their affection for one another along with the snowy quiet of winter, the newness of spring, the still heat of summer, and the crispness of autumn.

Author Notes

American novelist, poet, and critic John Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on March 18, 1932. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard University, which he attended on a scholarship, in 1954. After graduation, he accepted a one-year fellowship to study painting at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England. After returning from England in 1955, he worked for two years on the staff of The New Yorker. This marked the beginning of a long relationship with the magazine, during which he has contributed numerous short stories, poems, and book reviews.

Although Updike's first published book was a collection of verse, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures (1958), his renown as a writer is based on his fiction, beginning with The Poorhouse Fair (1959). During his lifetime, he wrote more than 50 books and primarily focused on middle-class America and their major concerns---marriage, divorce, religion, materialism, and sex. Among his best-known works are the Rabbit tetrology---Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), Rabbit Is Rich (1981), and Rabbit at Rest (1988). Rabbit, Run introduces Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom as a 26-year-old salesman of dime-store gadgets trapped in an unhappy marriage in a dismal Pennsylvania town, looking back wistfully on his days as a high school basketball star. Rabbit Redux takes up the story 10 years later, and Rabbit's relationship with representative figures of the 1960s enables Updike to provide social commentary in a story marked by mellow wisdom and compassion in spite of some shocking jolts. In Rabbit Is Rich, Harry is comfortably middle-aged and complacent, and much of the book seems to satirize the country-club set and the swinging sexual/social life of Rabbit and his friends. Finally, in Rabbit at Rest, Harry arrives at the age where he must confront his mortality. Updike won the Pulitzer Prize for both Rabbit Is Rich and Rabbit at Rest.

Updike's other novels range widely in subject and locale, from The Poorhouse Fair, about a home for the aged that seems to be a microcosm for society as a whole, through The Court (1978), about a revolution in Africa, to The Witches of Eastwick (1984), in which Updike tries to write from inside the sensibilities of three witches in contemporary New England. The Centaur (1963) is a subtle, complicated allegorical novel that won Updike the National Book Award in 1964. In addition to his novels, Updike also has written short stories, poems, critical essays, and reviews. Self-Consciousness (1989) is a memoir of his early life, his thoughts on issues such as the Vietnam War, and his attitude toward religion. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. He died of lung cancer on January 27, 2009 at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography) John Updike was born in 1932, in Shillington, Pennsylvania. Since 1957 he has lived in Massachusetts. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, & the Howells Medal.

(Publisher Provided) John Updike was born in 1932 and attended Harvard College and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford, England. Form 1955 to 1957 he was a staff member of The New Yorker, which he contributed numerous writings. Updike's art criticism has appeared in publications including Arts and Antiques, The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, and Realites, among many others. He is the author of such best-selling novels as Rabbit Run and Rabbit is Rich. His many works of fiction, poetry and criticism have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. For the past 40 years he has lived in Massachusetts.

(Publisher Provided) John Updike is the author of some 50 books, including collections of short stories, poems, & criticism. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, & the Howells Medal. Born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932, he has lived in Massachusetts since 1957.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. First published in 1965, Updike's calendar presents a child-centered poem for each month of the year. Hyman's colorful illustrations portray a multiracial family living in rural New Hampshire through the changes of seasons. But the landscape and weather are only backdrops for the activities that define the seasons for young people: sledding, kite flying, planting, watching baseball on TV, wading in the creek, picnicking, swimming, choosing apples, trick-or-treating, giving thanks around the table, and waiting for Christmas. A full-page painting and a smaller panel illustrate each month. Each evocative illustration has its own story to tell, celebrating the small moments in children's lives with clarity and sensitivity, with empathy and joy. A beautifully illustrated edition of Updike's poems for children. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

letter day for poetry lovers. Each month receives its due in shiveringly lovely verse while Hyman's brightly populated watercolors trace the corresponding activities of a lively Vermont family. The interplay of text and art has both depth and beauty. The language and illustrations are not merely pretty or ornamentally descriptive, but vibrantly aliveÄenough to keep young readers occupied through more than one reading. Crisp images from the poems are amplified or buried like treasures in the artwork. In March, "Pale crocuses/ Poke through the ground/ Like noses come/ To sniff around," while the family is pictured tending the sheep that likewise burrow their noses into waiting hands. Familiar things are made new with the grace and freshness of Updike's simple and accessible imagery. In June, for example, "The live-long light/ Is like a dream,/ And freckles come/ Like flies to cream." A breathtaking book that will unfold the world to new readers: "each flower, leaf,/ And blade of turfÄ/ Small love-notes sent/ From air to earth." Ages 4-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Gr 1-5-A year in New England as seen through a child-focused lens. Month by month, season by season, the poet's words and the expressive paintings create images that are reflective and playful, perceptive and pleasing. (Sept.) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-John Updike reads each of his 12 poems celebrating everyday life month by month (Holiday House, 1999) at a deliberate, measured pace. Background music plays lightly, changing with each piece to reflect the season, month, holiday, etc. that is being presented. Appropriate sound effects such as crunching snow and geese honking add texture to the even reading. The accompanying book features colorful watercolor illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman portraying the activities of a multiracial Vermont family. The slow-paced narration has little inflection and may not hold the interest of the youngest children. This read-along is a good way to introduce poetry and teach the months of the year.-Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.