Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold

Joyce Sidman, illus. by Rick Allen. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-90650-8
Just as Sidman and Allen saw through the ominousness of night to find beauty and joy in the Newbery Honor–winning Dark Emperor, they now discover warmth, community, and wisdom in the dead of winter. Sidman’s 12 poems draw readers through the first whiff of winter that sends tundra swans migrating to warmer climates (“As we tucked beaks/ into feathers and settled for sleep,/ our wings knew”) to the humble, unlikely first observers of spring’s arrival: skunk cabbage and springtails (snow fleas). Along the way, readers are treated to fascinating details about snakes, beavers, wolves, ravens, and other animals in extensive sidebars, while Allen’s hand-colored, digitally layered linocuts bring a stately majesty to every page. Each poem brings a sense of humor, respect, or wonder to its subject, from minuscule bees “Born with eyelash legs/ and tinsel wings” to an imposing “slumberous moose.” Ages 6–9. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/08/2014
Release date: 11/04/2014
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-544-46507-7
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