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Winter Bees  & Other Poems of the Cold
2014
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Author Notes
Poet and author Joyce Sidman was born in Hartford, Connecticut on June 4, 1956. She received a B.A. in German from Wesleyan University and earned her teacher's certificate in 1983. Sidman teaches poetry and is a columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She has published several children's books, including Red Sings from Treetops, and she won the New Women's Voices award for Like the Air. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
NonFiction
Nature
Topics
Diseases
Weather
Environmentalism
Nature
Health
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Just as Sidman and Allen saw through the ominousness of night to find beauty and joy in the Newbery Honor-winning Dark Emperor, they now discover warmth, community, and wisdom in the dead of winter. Sidman's 12 poems draw readers through the first whiff of winter that sends tundra swans migrating to warmer climates ("As we tucked beaks/ into feathers and settled for sleep,/ our wings knew") to the humble, unlikely first observers of spring's arrival: skunk cabbage and springtails (snow fleas). Along the way, readers are treated to fascinating details about snakes, beavers, wolves, ravens, and other animals in extensive sidebars, while Allen's hand-colored, digitally layered linocuts bring a stately majesty to every page. Each poem brings a sense of humor, respect, or wonder to its subject, from minuscule bees "Born with eyelash legs/ and tinsel wings" to an imposing "slumberous moose." Ages 6-9. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

Starred Review. K-Gr 4-The 12 selections in this collection offer a winter wonderland of deftly crafted poetry, fascinating science facts, an amazingly rich vocabulary, and stunning illustrations. In the title poem, the bees are lyrically described, "Born with eyelash legs/and tinsel wings/we are nothing on our own./Together, we are One.Deep in the winter hive,/we burn like a golden sun." In "Big Brown Moose," the animal humorously chants, "I'm a big brown moose,/I'm a rascally moose,/I'm a moose with a tough shaggy hide" Science facts about the animals' lives in harsh winter climates appear in sidebars on each spread. Sidman explores the safe places that allow for survival, such as in the underwater beaver lodge, "In the dim oval room,/they groom, snack, kiss;/strong brown bullets that dive/in the under-ice world." The poet also includes the role of plant species in the process, such as the skunk cabbage that signals spring's arrival as the first plant to sprout through the snow and its importance as it attracts insect pollinators. Readers come to understand that the seemingly barren winter is actually teaming with the hidden activity of plant and animal life. Allen's intricately detailed, hand-colored, linoleum prints jump off the page, wrap around the words, and breathe life into the foxes, voles, swans, wolves, and more. This combination provides a magnificent celebration of winter that delights and informs. A comprehensive glossary of specialized words is included. Douglas Florian's Winter Eyes (Greenwillow, 1999), Barbara Rogasky's Winter Poems (Scholastic, 1995), and Anna Grossnickle Hines's Winter Lights (Greenwillow, 1995) also celebrate the season but cover a wide range of events. Winter Bees distinguishes itself with a focus on the science of animal survival, coupled with superlative illustrations. Readers young and old will enjoy this winter journey and marvel at the wonders of nature.-Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
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.<br>
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