cover image Turtle in July

Turtle in July

Marilyn Singer. MacMillan Publishing Company, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-782881-8

From the ``January deer so swift and light'' to the November beaver chanting ``Mud, more mud, add mud, good mud . . . ,'' this collection of nature poems progresses through the year. Singer divides the year with four seasonal poems featuring the bullhead, a type of catfish which is usually found ``belly down in the shallows.'' Other animals narrate their view of the months or time of year, while apt pairings of animals with months demonstrate the intangible link between them (a Canada Goose flying south in October, a dragonfly in August). The verse rhythmically echoes the actions of a sleepy March bear or a skittish deer mouse foraging in winter. Whether nose to nose with a busy beaver or in the muddy shallows with that bullhead, Pinkney illustrates these works with his splendid watercolors and a unique flair for patterns and textured spaces; his art is perfectly wedded to the verse. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)