IF YOU WANT TO SEE A CARIBOU

Phyllis Root, Author , illus. by Jim Meyer. Houghton $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-39314-5

Taking readers on a simple journey into the north woods in search of the endangered caribou, Root's (Grandmother Winter ) lyrical poem captures that magical and fragile moment when human beings respectfully intersect with nature. Nearly every line of the poem contains tactile descriptions: waves lapping the sailboat in Lake Superior are "rushing, rooosh , rooosh ," "the ground [is] spongy with feather moss" and in the clearing "where caribou have rubbed the velvet off their antlers... the air has a faint, acrid odor." Root's

second-person narrative describes just enough action to keep readers turning the pages, even as child and adult wait: "You sit,/ quiet as an old spruce is quiet,/ quiet as a red cupped mushroom,/ quiet as a caribou who scents danger on the wind." Throughout, the poet's images startle and evoke a reverence for the beauty of the natural world, inviting young readers to notice even smallest details: "Yellow buttercups nod, hello, hello ," and a log "pointed like a pencil" signifies that a beaver has gnawed it down. The human figures in newcomer Meyer's elegantly colored woodblock prints are sometimes static, and his landscapes do not fully illustrate the splendors mentioned in the poem (e.g., no buttercups). Nonetheless, they possess a restrained grace of their own, and usher the audience into the hushed, expectant mood of the poem. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/12/2004
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-547-56191-2
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-0-547-76984-4
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