Monday, February 16, 2015

Winter Poems and Other Poems of the Cold

Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold
written by Joyce Sidman; illustrated by Rick Allen
2014 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Source: Orange County Public Library

I'm a big brown moose,
I'm a rascally moose, 
I'm a moose with a tough, shaggy hide

There are restaurants that try to sell you a three course meal for $10 or $15. It's usually a restaurant that is at best average and is trying to build more business for unexceptional food. You walk out after spending $40 on you and your beloved and feel unsatisfied. I've got a better deal. How about combining exceptional poetry, interesting nonfiction text, and gorgeous illustrations? May I present for your literacy palate a wonderful meal titled Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold. Check out a stanza from the title poem:

We are an ancient tribe, 
a hardy scrum. 
Born with eyelash legs
and tinsel wings,
we are nothing on our own.
Together we are One.

Joyce Sidman's poetry creates wonderful visuals and makes it a pleasure to read lines aloud. I'm especially drawn to the adjectives that she uses. The poems are impressive on their own, but then you get fascinating nonfiction with great wow! facts. Reading about the relationship between ravens and wolves, you learn that ravens may pester wolves to keep them on the move and finding food that the ravens can share. Wait until you learn about the skunk cabbage and it's stinky cleverness. Thanks to Rick Allen's vivid illustrations, you can easily visualize the information that is presented.

Skip the restaurant. Save your money and get a copy of Winter Bees. You will find yourself happier and with less calories to boot!

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