By : Haley Belinda
I recently had the pleasure of reading Amelia’s Autumn Trail which was written and illustrated by Haley Belinda. This is a storybook which was penned for toddlers and young children, yet somehow manages to trigger sweet and pleasant memories for the adult reader as well.
Essentially, the story follows a little girl named Amelia who enjoys daily walks with her Dad in the woods. Along these walks they discover the joys of nature and the beauty of the Autumn season. Together, they embrace the wonder of nature’s colors and the diversity of living things. Insects and butterflies are discussed as well as birds and small animals. The reader learns and makes discoveries right along with Amelia and her Dad. For instance, did you know that if a nut has an insect in it a squirrel will eat it right away instead of storing it? Such facts and the reasons for them are embedded throughout this clever storybook. Further, important overall concepts such as bird migration and animal hibernation are examined in an entertaining yet educational fashion. Through poetry and songs the the author uniquely conveys the image of nature’s beauty and complexity. All of this is done as we accompany a young girl and her Dad. This special relationship and the memory which it likely triggers for most readers is the hook.
When considering the main idea of the book I believe it to essentially be two-fold. First of all, the education of the main character Amelia through the beauty of nature is at the forefront. However, one cannot ignore the special relationship and bond which exists between Amelia and her Dad. While this is a secondary theme, it is triggering and critical nonetheless. Many a child will look up at their Father while reading this story and store this experience in their memory bank for later in life. That is a wonderful accomplishment by the author.
Having personally spent decades in the world of education, I like to think I have a proven ability to be able to pick books children will like. I believe Amelia’s Autumn Trail is one such book. The poetry and songs are simple…but that is the point. Their simplicity is part of their charm and beauty. They are included as part of the entire package which is beautiful. The cover and the illustrations of the book only add to its charm. If you are looking for a new and innovative storybook to share with your toddler or young children, then Haley Belinda’s story Amelia’s Autumn Trail may be just what you are seeking!