Spring Pastels and Personification

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday SnapshotsWhat strikes you first about Red Sings from Treetops is the artwork. A whimsical blend of mixed media with playful bits of text integrated into the design, the artwork is a delight. And it subtly points to the other star of this charming children’s book — the words.

Ah, the glorious words!

  • “Purple pours into summer evenings one shadow at a time…”
  • “Yellow slips goldfinches their spring jackets. Yellow shouts with light!”
  • “Green waits in the hearts of trees, feeling the earth turn.”

Every line in this book is truly a treat for the ears. A feast of figurative language, the book uses personification, metaphor, simile and even onomatopoeia in its colorful journey through the year.

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday Snapshots

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday Snapshots

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday Snapshots


For our big idea we decided to focus on the personification. Personification is the giving of human qualities to non-human things. In the case of Red Sings from Treetops, colors are personified, but any inanimate object will do, Another illustration is in the Langston Hughes poem, “April Rain Song.”

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday SnapshotsI made a handy printable to walk you through our project. After reading the book, we talked a bit about personification and what things we see in spring. Then we chose a color. We quickly moved on to forming our sentences, but the verb list is available for selection as well.

Olivia could not stop at just one. Occasionally I made a suggestion or two, but by the end she was joyfully coming up with new lines very quickly. Here are some of hers:

  • Orange and black dances from flower to flower.
  • Brown hoots in the night sky trees.
  • Red hides under leaves ripe and juicy.

And mine:  Pink dressed in petals and adorned the arm of her leafy suitor.

Spring Pastels

Next, inspired by the Southern Hodgepodge Spring Art Tutorials, we decided to do our drawings in chalk pastels. Tricia has been encouraging me to try chalk pastels with the kids — she promised the mess wouldn’t be too much, and she was right. It was totally doable with a pack of baby wipes nearby.

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday Snapshots

Though the things we wanted to draw were not in the book, we took the plunge and tried some of the blending techniques we saw on our own drawings.

Then, in a small mixed media attempt, we printed our lines and pasted them on the pictures. Wa-la! We were both pretty pleased with how these turned out, despite our artistic limitations. It was good fun anyway.

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday Snapshots

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday Snapshots

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday Snapshots

Supplies for Spring Pastels and Personification

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors

Free Printable Lesson Guide

Spring Art Tutorials — if you were stuck for a topic to write about, it would be ok to start with one of these tutorials and then work your way back to the figure of speech based on your picture.

48 Soft Drawing Chalk Pastels in Brilliant Assorted Colors

Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper Pad – 8 x 10 Inches

Part of the Book and a Big Idea series for Spring sponsored by iHomeschool Network. Check out all the other great ideas.

Spring Pastels and Personification | Everyday Snapshots



  • Ashley says:

    You never cease to amaze me. This is an awesome idea! You have so many lessons all tied into one. We well be doing this. Like, today. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Thanks Ashley and awesome!! If you post about it, please come back and leave a link. I would love to see.

  • Tricia says:

    Pam – this is such FUN! and it thrills me that you used chalk pastels. I can tell you had a wonderful time – the mixed media idea turned out beautifully. Pinning and sharing!

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Thanks Tricia. I am beginning to think that pastels are my new favorite medium and your books are having a lot to do with that. They make it seem so doable.

  • Julie says:

    Love this lesson!

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