Remembering April Pulley Sayre

Created by Linda Tripp, collection development librarian

Children’s literature lost another acclaimed voice this year with the passing of April Pulley Sayre on Nov. 6. Sayre, 55, authored more than 80 books for children, many in recent years featuring her vibrant and color-saturated photographs and playful rhyming text. Sayre’s love for the natural world was evident in her informational picture books, which contained the flawless mix of art and science. Over the years, readers eagerly looked forward to the latest book from Sayre, whether to share one on one with a little one, as the perfect title to read aloud in storytimes, for language arts study in the classroom, or for STEM lessons.

Two of my personal favorites featuring the seasons and weather are “Full of Fall” and “Best in Snow.” Excellent examples of Sayre’s ability to craft deceptively simple yet poetic text to accompany gorgeous photographs, both also explain the science behind the natural phenomena to young readers. It’s no wonder that Sayre’s books often appear on lists which recognize excellence in science books for children. One favorite read aloud, “Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant” inspired generations of kids to happily eat their veggies, and the follow-up  “Go, Go, Grapes!: A Fruit Chant” had young ones chanting:

Rah, rah, raspberries! Go, go, grapes! 

Savor the flavors. Find fruity shapes!

Blackberries. Blueberries. Bag a bunch.

Strawberry season? Let’s munch-a-munch!”

Sayre’s last book, with husband Jeff Sayre is due out in late winter 2022, and will feature a sloth’s eye view of the world. I, for one, can’t wait to read it. In the meantime, discover (or re-visit) the wonderful work of April Pulley Sayre with these titles from the Library’s collection.