cover image Daniel Finds a Poem

Daniel Finds a Poem

Micha Archer. Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-16913-7

In illustrator Archer’s first book as author, rich, multilayered collages illuminate a celebration of nature’s beauty. At the city park gates, a boy with brown skin and dark curly hair sees a sign advertising a poetry event on Sunday. “What is poetry?” Daniel wonders. A page turn shows him gazing through a spider’s web hung with hundreds of tiny, rainbow-colored droplets of water. “To me,” the spider says, “poetry is when morning dew glistens.” Each spread brings an encounter with an animal and a new thought about poetry. Daniel peers wide-eyed into a chipmunk’s hole (“Poetry is a home with many windows in an old stone wall”) and trails a hand in a frog pond (“Poetry is a cool pond to dive into”). When Sunday comes, he’s seen in silhouette in the park in front of a small audience, reciting a poem woven from the animals’ answers. A story like this might take place in the country, but in setting hers in a large urban park, Archer (The Wise Fool) asserts that poetry and nature belong to city children, too. Ages 5–8. (Feb.)