The world outside my window is preparing to change scenes from the vast summer greens to the glowing pallet of autumn’s fiery golds. Watching the magical changes of nature and the hustle and bustle of the animals, preparing for winter, inspires me to write poetry. Yes, even Bob, my faithful backyard squirrel, is filling up his winter stash with the nuts and seeds I set outside for him each morning. Instead of perching on the plate to nibble his treats, Bob fills his cheeks before scampering back to his tree, only to return moments later to collect more food for the coming winter months.
Being true to who I am, I worry about Bob. With my move at the start of next week, I wonder if the new owners will continue to care for my bushy-tailed squirrel. Knowing my love for the backyard animals in my care, a friend of mine offered to live capture Bob, his family, cousins, and friends and transport them to my new address. (Thank you, Don, I’d like that very much.)
For this week’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, I chose to share a book by one of my favorite poets, Joyce Sidman, whose thoughtful rhymes are sure to enchant you. A poetry book isn’t complete without illustrations that stand on their own as treats for the eyes to behold. I promise you will become equally captivated with the artwork of Beth Krommes, the illustrator whose talents you’ll find on every page.
Title – Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow
Written by- Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by – Beth Krommes
Suitable for ages – 8 to 12 (Although intended for children, I believe everyone can treasure these poems.)
Topics/theme – Children’s poetry, Meadow animals, nature.
Opening – Here is the first stanza from the poem, In the Almost-Light
In the dark, in the night,
in the almost-light,
in the leaf-crisp air just before sunlight,
sprouts a secret, silent, sparking sight:
berries grown on the vines of night.
Synopsis from Amazon – Discover the hidden world of the meadow in this unique combination of poetry riddles and science wisdom. Beginning with the rising sun and ending with twilight, this book takes us on a tour through the fields, encouraging us to watch for a nest of rabbits, a foamy spittlebug, a leaping grasshopper, bright milkweed, a quick fox, and a cruising hawk.
Why do I like this book? To describe Joyce Sidman’s poems, I would compare each one to a beautiful painting unfolding before one’s eyes. Her metaphors will have you saying, “Yes! If I had everything in the world to choose from, this is the perfect likeness to the morning air, the velvety horns of the deer, the dry earth, and the fluff-filled pods of the milkweed. Adding to the magic of each poem are Beth Krommes’s lovingly-created, scratchboard illustrations that are genuinely marvel-worthy.
Learn more about Joyce Sidman HERE.
Learn more about Beth Krommes HERE.
I chose a few links to get you started for those intested in learning about scratchboard art,
Russ McMullin’s Scratchboard Tutorial HERE.
An easy-to-follow video that’s perfect for kids and parents HERE.
And one more kid-friendly, scratchboard tutorial HERE.
I hope you’ll visit me next week for another PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY.