To say that I am excited about this book is an understatement. I love Joyce Sidman‘s poetry, so choosing her Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems to kick off National Poetry Month was a no-brainer. Reading her poetry simply feeds my love of nature, and because love of both poetry and nature is something I hope to pass on to my girls, sharing these poems with them is pure pleasure for me. My only regret is that I didn’t have this book when we did our pond study last year, but that’s the great thing about nature study–the subject never expires or runs out! In Song of the Water Boatman, Sidman captures with delightful imagery some of the denizens of the pond: from duckweed to dragonflies and wood ducks to water bears, creatures both great and small are included. One of my favorite poems is a concrete poem entitled “Into the Mud.” It’s about the painted turtle’s hibernation, “shuttered like a shed”, down below in the pond’s muddy bottom. I also love her concrete poem about caddis worms:
the best to
I certainly did not know the caddis worm builds its own protective case out of whatever it finds in the water. Fascinating! I think Louise’s favorite poem is a “House That Jack Built” rhyme about the food chain. I had to read that one more than once. We enjoyed this entire collection of eleven poems over two or three days, dipping into it and reading a few at a time. Of course, I could spend hours justing poring over the illustrations, which garnered this title a Caldecott honor in 2006. Beckie Prange’swatercolored woodblock prints are gorgeous. (Houhgton Mifflin, 2005)
If you haven’t read any of Joyce Sidman’s poetry, what are you waiting for? We’ve read and enjoyed Red Sings from Treetops (linked to my review and here’s another, I like it so much!) and Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night (linked). I’m expecting Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature to be delivered by the big brown truck today! Truly, if you like poetry even a little bit and if you like nature at all, you will love Sidman‘s stuff. The fact that it is paired with the work of so many talented artists is simply the icing on the cake. (If you’re keeping count, her books have earned two Caldecotts and a Newbery, plus other honors I’m sure I’m not aware of!)
This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Read, Write, Howl, the blog of children’s author Robyn Hood Black. (For the schedule upcoming Poetry Fridays, visit Kidlitosphere Central.) I’m also submitting this post for this month’s Award Winning Books challenge at Gathering Books.
How are you celebrating National Poetry Month?