Poetry Friday on this first December Friday is with Anastasia Suen here!
I know others have spoken of this new poetry written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen, and I, too, want to add my own words of praise for Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold.
There is delight in looking at Rick Allen's paintings, so filled with color and action that even the snowflakes seem to drift off the page. And the fox makes me shiver as it smells the vole underground.
The pictures in the book celebrate Joyce Sidman's poems, inviting others to gather, to share in the words of winter. Each one holds its own surprises of different structure and content. I love the moose: "I bask in the moon/as the coyotes croon/with my moose-mama close by my side." And those bees, "Deep in the winter hive,/we burn like a golden sun." My favorite line, with the chickadees: "The sun wheels high, the cardinal trills./We sip the drips of icicles."
Finally, when reading about the subjects, the poems not only please, but added to the learning are the side passages, explaining more about each. I thought I knew a lot about winter and animals, but learned more of this magic, like the term "brumate", the word for hibernation in reptiles, and about a new animal, first to waken, called "springtails". There are the inner double pages at the beginning and the end that show seasonal changes, and a lovely surprise to search for on each page.
Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold is a pleasure to read, and to imagine sharing with students, using the book also as a mentor text of how to present subject matter deeply researched in a beautiful, interesting and complete way. I hope you'll find it soon if you haven't already.