Sunday, July 28, 2019

Poetry Picture Book - Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman

Illustrated by Rick Allen
2014 Houghton Mifflin Harcoart
HC $17.99
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.24 -  1179 ratings
My rating:  5
Endpapers: Solid purplish-gray

My comments:  There are twelve lovely poems in this collection, and each of them has a qualifying, informative explanation in prose (example follows).   Very nice for the winter-hater and poetry-lover in me!

Goodreads:  In this outstanding picture book collection of poems by Newbery Honor-winning poet, Joyce Sidman (Song of the Water Boatman,Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night)discover how animals stay alive in the wintertime and learn about their secret lives happening under the snow. Paired with stunning linoleum print illustrations by Rick Allen, that celebrate nature's beauty and power.

What Do the Trees Know?

What do the trees know?
          To bend when all the wild winds blow.
          Roots are deep and time is slow.
          All we grasp we must let go.
What do the trees know?
          Buds can weather ice and snow.
          Dark gives way to sunlight's glow.
          Strength and stillness help us grow.

"Trees, the giants of the plant world, survive winter in two very different ways.  Coniferous (evergreen) trees have thin, was-covered needles that tolerate freezing temperatures and remain on the tree all year round.  Deciduous (leafy) trees, on the other hand, sprout large, flat leaves every spring that are perfect for gathering sunlight to produce energy.  Deciduous trees grow like mad while the weather is warm, but in winter they essentially shut down.   They shed their luxuriant leaves, which would freeze anyway and suck much-needed water from the tree.  The tiny buds, which will hold next year's leaves, develop a tough, scaly coating to protect them all winter.  As the temperatures drop, the living tissue in the tree's trunk undergoes a process called hardening, in which cells lose water and become more resistant to freezing.  An early cold snap - before a tree has hardened - will damage its branches.  But after hardening, the tree will spend the winter months dry, cold, and protected - waiting for spring to swell those hardy buds."

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