Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife

Sarah Grace Tuttle, illus. by Amy Schimler-Safford. Eerdmans, $17 (38p) ISBN 978-0-8028-5459-9
Debut author Tuttle and illustrator Schimler-Safford celebrate the plants and creatures that thrive in cities and towns in 27 understated poems and richly textured digital illustrations. Tuttle packs notable tension into her pared-down poems, which move subtly through the seasons. In one moody spread, “little brown bats/ hunt/ with a/ dart!/ and a/ swoop!/ and a hasty/ wing-scoop!” beneath a streetlight’s glare; on the facing page, a harvestman (daddy long legs) “splits open its body” as it molts, “leaving behind only/ an empty exoskeleton.” Elsewhere, a red-tailed blackbird chases away a hawk to protect its marsh nest, and ant colonies wage war on the sidewalk (“Antennae wave/ legs grip/ mandibles rip”). Readers will be left realizing that nature’s miniature dramas are closer than they think. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Anna Olswanger, Olswanger Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/05/2018
Release date: 03/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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