Sidman, Joyce. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold, illustrated by Rick Allen. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. $17.99. POETRY PICTURE BOOK. NONFICTION.
This poetry picture book is the perfect marriage of words and illustrations. Poet Joyce Sidman includes both free verse and rhyme poetry to tell the story of the creatures who live in the cold. Each poem is accompanied by a lengthy paragraph explanation of the animal and their winter habits that is packed with interesting facts. The poems beg to me read aloud, “Dusk fell / and the cold came creeping / came prickling into our hearts. / As we tucked beaks / into feathers and settled for sleep, / our wings knew” (Dream of the Tundra Swan). The discussion poem between, “Brother Raven, Sister Wolf” is a fascinating view of their codependent relationship. The illustrations are unforgettable. Illustrator Rick Allen cleverly combines the old technique of ink relief printing with digital scanning, creating a uniquely new look.
EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.