no bee
no bee



I'm Ivan McGivan,
And I love summer -
With baseball,
No school,
Staying up late,
Vacations and all.
– Ivan's Great Fall


Paperback $8.95



Hardcover $15.95



Vanita Oelschlager
Kristin Blackwood

Ages 4-8
44 Pages



Give The Kid a Book

February, 2013


These books are a wonderful way to introduce children to poetry!! The illustrations are great and help the words come to life! I would love to see more of this series!! Such a breath of fresh air! The kids I work with loved these and now know some famous poets! It is terrific when kids are learning but think they are having fun!




Perfect Chaos

Stacie Wyatt

December, 2012


The book was presented in poetry, rhyming format. The book was illustrated by Kristin Blackwood. I loved the graphics, once again. The book showed Ivan moving from playing in the summer to heading to school in the fall. The book also provided classic poems at the end of the book, such as Casey at the Bat .


Project Chameleon

Kelly Mogk

December, 2012


In Ivy in Bloom, we follow a young girl as she waits for winter to turn to spring. Poetry from Dickinson, Longfellow, Frost, and others combine across the pages as Ivy dives into spring with all the excitement expected from a young child. Although the poetry doesn't blend fully to create a seamless story, the excerpts shared are filled with strong imagery and wondrous words. I definitely plan on using this text to model for my students how they can collect poetry around a central theme to create a book of their own. The bibliography at the back of the book is a much appreciated addition to the text; several of my students will want to read more about the poets included in Ivy in Bloom.

Ivan's Great Fall introduces Ivan, a little boy that loves summer and everything about it -- especially the absence of school! In this book, Oelschlager again combines her own poetry with the works of Sandburg, Bronte, Keats, and more. I especially loved the transition from summer to fall (shouldn't be surprising, as I love all things Dickinson):
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.


I am adding these selections to my classroom library and look forward to working with my students to help them curate their own collection of great writers and poets.


Review Stream

Ivan’s Great Fall: Poetry for Summer and Autumn from Great Poets and Writers of the Past” by Vanita Oelschlager is a poetry book that I feel is terrific if you have kids and are looking to introduce kids to the world of poetry. Then again, I am no longer a kid, but I still found enjoyment in the admittedly simplistic poetry that focuses on the summer and autumn seasons. This poetry brings the qualities of both summer and autumn to vibrant life while telling a story and showcasing illustrations.

The book tells of a kid that is in love with the summer season and its warm temperatures, carefree days and freedom from school and dreads the coming of autumn, which he associates with cooler temperatures, school and less free time. However, again through poetry, the benefits and beauties of autumn are brought to life, like the changing colors of the leaves and new friends at school, help the child developer a better appreciation for the season and he learns not to dread it any longer.

The story is simplistic, but again, this book is aimed at kids and so the story is merely there to connect summer and autumn poetry together. To me though, this is a “feel good” type of book because the way the summer and autumn are expressed brings a smile to my face and it is so easy to just visualize myself out on a warm summer’s day with the sun hanging overhead and the green grass stretching off seemingly forever or underneath a tree that is awash with colors like red, orange and yellow while a somewhat crisp chill plays happily with the leaves.

It is a book that is particularly wonderful if you are just starting out with reading poetry and want to ease yourself into how poetry works and how images and feels are expressed in the form. I do wish though that the book was longer and that there was more than forty pages of content, but I suppose for a child’s poetry book, there is plenty of material to keep a young one entertained.

There are illustrations too in this book, and the illustrations help to visualize what is being conveyed in the poetry should one have trouble understanding the poetry. I am happy with summer and autumn poetry book and I would recommend it to both kids and adults as well as those that are contemplating writing poetry as this book will help ease you into what can, admittedly, be an intimating form of literary expression.


Young Adult Books Central

Rita Lorraine Hubbard

June, 2010


Do you love summer, and do you hate when it's over? So does young Ivan, and he explains all the reasons why in, Ivan's Great Fall: Poetry for Summer and Autumn from Great Poets and Writers of the Past, by Vanita Oelschlager.


Ivan's Great Fall, is a creative children's poetry book about a young boy struggling to let go of a warm and carefree summer so he can embrace the leafy fall. Its pages serve a dual function; they introduce children to the poetry greats like Dickinson, Keats, Bronte and Sandburg, and they help children accept the changing of the seasons and the inevitable passage of time.


Author Vanita Oelschlager keeps the sentences short and child-friendly, and illustrator Kristin Blackwood uses deep, rich colors to lend the book an enthusiastic feel.


Oelschlager is Writer-in-Residence for the Literacy Program at the University of Akron. She has written several other books, including the widely acclaimed, My Grampy Can't Walk, the story of her wheelchair-bound husband Jim, and his relationship with his grandchildren.


For a great introduction to poetry and change, be sure to pick up a copy of Ivan's Great Fall.

VanitaBooks donates all net profits to The Oak Clinic for Multiple Sclerosis and other charities where "people help people help themselves."


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