Monday, April 29, 2019

The Red Wheelbarrow (Monday Poem)

by William Carlos Williams

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

from Sing a Song of Seasons
A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year
selected by Fiona Waters
illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
Candlewick Press, 2018

Monday, April 22, 2019

Earth: Your Mother I'll Be (Monday Poem)

by Allan Wolf

I'm Earth. I'm your mother and cradle in one,
a love like no other in sight of the sun.
I offer you shelter, the whole human race.
I'll be your safe haven in vast lonely space.

My large iron core plus my speedy rotation
keep all of you safe from the sun's radiation,
creating a mighty magnetic force field
that causes the wild solar whirlwinds to yield.
And due to my ozone's thick UV deflection,
my atmosphere offers you sunburn protection.
I'm seven parts water, three other parts land.
I'll give you a drink and a dry place to stand.
I'll give you bright day, and I'll give you dark night.
My average temperature's just about right.
My equator is hot. And my ice caps are cold.
And I'm just over 4.5 billion years old.
But that's barely a baby in universe years.
Near eight billion people in both hemispheres,

without hesitation, I shelter you all:
the whole human race on a small blue ball.
You'll all be my baby. Your mother I'll be.
I take care of you. Will you take care of me?

from The Day the Universe Exploded My Head: Poems to Take You into Space and Back Again
by Allan Wolf, illustrated by Anna Raff
Candlewick Press, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

Spring Rain (Monday Poem)

by Marchette Chute

The storm came up so very quick,
It couldn't have been quicker.
I should have brought my hat along,
I should have brought my slicker.
My hair is wet, my feet are wet,
I couldn't be much wetter.
I fell into a river once
But this is even better.

from Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies
Selected by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
illustrations by James McMullan
Little, Brown & Company, 2009

Monday, April 8, 2019

April Rain Song (Monday Poem)

by Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night --

And I love the rain.

from Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies
Selected by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
illustrations by James McMullan
Little, Brown & Company, 2009

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Earth Day is a Time for Giving Thanks (FAMILY magazine reviews)

Spring is coming and with it the season for honoring the Earth and paying special attention to what it takes to protect our home world from the ravages of habitat destruction, and damage from fishing, farming, construction and industry. Without its health we all sicken. May we celebrate the beauty of this blue world we share with other living beings and do all we can to keep it healthy.

Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet 
by April Pulley Sayre
            Stunning photographs paired with compact rhyming text make this nonfiction volume a feast to read and examine. Exquisite photos set the rhythm for this letter of thanks, giving the reader space to inspect the features in each picture. The unhurried pace also gives listeners time to ponder the words and their connections to the images. 
            Three opening snapshots accompany the words, “Dear Earth,” which can be a greeting as a letter begins. They can also be an observation of how precious and valued this amazing blue planet is to we who are among its many inhabitants. Throughout the book are spacious photos and generous language; a graceful sharing of the graciousness of this globe we call our home. Images and imagery harmonize in a myriad of thanksgiving instants, captured in measured moments.
            As we are learning, to our dismay, that many children in our world are nature deprived, this lovely book offers an opportunity to share the awe of the wildness still in existence with the children who desperately need this contact. Not only does it invite us to find our own wonders of the universe, the Note from the Author at the end supplies actions we can take, discoveries to investigate, places to share and participate, the encouragement to invent and design, and assist others, and places, resources and organizations where we can join explorations that are already in process.

Greenwillow, $17.99
Interest Level: Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 4

Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth 
by Nicola Davies
illustrated by Emily Sutton
            Beginning with one living thing and adding until there are two, three, then many, this cautionary picture book introduces readers to the variety of life on our lovely planet. Contrasting large and small, the red-headed little girl takes notes as she visits the desert, the islands, and volcanic lakes, among many. She’s even wearing binoculars, traveling in a hot-air balloon to view the treetops, and wearing scuba gear for an ocean dive.
            The watercolor paintings are colorful and detailed, inviting listeners and readers to examine closer. Several pages include identification of the creatures represented.
            All living things “are part of a big, beautiful, complicated pattern.” But we humans “are destroying pieces of the pattern. . .. causing animals and plants to disappear.” By turns serious, and hopeful, even joyful at times, this appealing book is a call to pay attention to the interconnectedness of all life.

Candlewick Press, $15.99
Interest Level: Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 2

by Raymond Huber
illustrated by Brian Lovelock
            This thoughtful nonfiction picturebook is an engaging narrative partnered with vivid, bright-hued illustrations that bring to life the featured orange-spotted blue tokay gecko.
            The gecko in this book is on “high alert” for “dangers in the daylight.” Many predators would love a gecko meal. But this gecko cleans itself, and can shed and then eat its skin, “a snack off his own back,” which leaves no trace behind. Geckos can also camouflage by changing color, can wait patiently to capture lunch, and can scare off intruders or warn of danger by using its voice.
The double page spreads pair story language and information text in two different fonts, to engage both younger listeners and older readers. The lush illustrations are done in acrylic ink, watercolor and colored pencils and feature a fast-moving lizard who is a smart escape artist.
Back matter includes: More About Geckos, and an Index.

Candlewick Press, $16.99
Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 4

Monday, April 1, 2019

Be Like the Bird (Monday Poem)

by Victor Hugo

Be like the bird, who
Resting in his flight
On a twig too slight
Feels it give way beneath him,
Yet sings
Knowing he has wings.

from Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies
Selected by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
illustrations by James McMullan
Little, Brown & Company, 2009