Saturday, November 16, 2013

POETRY PICTURE BOOK: Forest Has a Song - Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

Illustrated by Robbin Gourley
2013 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
HC $16.99
32 pages
Goodreads rating: 4.32
My rating:  Lovely book; simple, beautiful poetry; lovely art: 4.5
Endpapers: White with a cascade of small, falling leaves
Title Page:  Center water color of a New England-y house with the forest rising in the background
Watercolor illustrations

I love the woods.  I miss the woods.  And this book, of very simple poems, is lovely.  The poems are simple, the words used are not-so-simple.  Elegant words.  Clever words.  This is a great book.

Goodreads summary:  A spider is a “never-tangling dangling spinner / knitting angles, trapping dinner.” A tree frog proposes, “Marry me. Please marry me… / Pick me now. / Make me your choice. / I’m one great frog / with one strong voice.” VanDerwater lets the denizens of the forest speak for themselves in twenty-six lighthearted, easy-to-read poems. As she observes, “Silence in Forest / never lasts long. / Melody / is everywhere / mixing in / with piney air. / Forest has a song.” The graceful, appealing watercolor illustrations perfectly suit these charming poems that invite young readers into the woodland world at every season.

here's one for spring...and it's a cool tongue-twister, too...

April Waking

Ferny frondy fiddleheads
unfurl curls from dirty beds.
Stretching stems they sweeetly sing
greenest greetings sent to Spring.

and here's one that uses beautiful words and evokes lovely images....


Late at night I look for lichens
tracing flakes in shades of dark.

Messages in cursive code
cover stones and bumpy bark.

Lichens are graffiti artists.
Lichens make their mark.

here's one for my geology unit...


I dug in the creek bed.
I dug and I found
a grandfather fossil
asleep underground.
He whispered a story
of creatures in sand.
I listened as trilobites
filled up my hand.
For one flicker-minute
they tickled my palm.
Alive for an eye blink.
Forever dead calm.

I do love the woods.  And this poem, along with fantastic imagery, even pulls in the fragrance...


Under the giant pines
I hear
a forest chorus
crisp and clear.

Winds whip.
Geese call.
Squirrels chase.
Leaves fall.

ATrees creak.
Birds flap.
Deer run.
Twigs snap.

Silence in Forest
never lasts long.
is everywhere
mixing in
with piney air.

Forest has a song.

okay, one more, very cool, poem to share....


In a red cap
he types poems
with his beak
upon a tree.

hole hole hole hole
hole hole hole

          hole hole

                    hole          hole
                    hole          hole

I'm hoping he
will translate one
for me.

1 comment:

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

What a happy surprise to find this review. Thank you so much for your kind words about my first book. I feel so lucky to have been paired with Robbin Gourley and grateful for your recommendation here! Best, Amy