Sunday, July 15, 2018

Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife by Sarah Grace Tuttle - ADVISABLE

Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife by Sarah Grace Tuttle, illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford. PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION. Eerdmans, 2017. $17. 9780802854599



Tuttle presents 28 short poems about plants, insects, and other animals that inhabit many North American cities and suburbs, but are often ignored by their human neighbors. You will find poetic descriptions of various rodents (mouse, bats, raccoons, skunk, squirrel, rabbit), insects (inchworm, ants, harvestman, ladybugs, moth caterpillar, cricket), birds (sparrow, pigeons, red-winged blackbird, mallard ducks, Canadian geese, horned owl), and plants (dandelions, moss, mushrooms, wild flowers, sunflowers, elm tree). And let us not forget the ubiquitous (at least in my neighborhood) feral cats, earthworms, and snails. Each poem describes one aspect, characteristic, or behavior of the featured plant or animal, while back material offers an additional fun fact for each.

Accompanied by digital collages that cover each page, and often the entire spread, these poems work great for introducing young elementary school students to the poetry genre and to start them thinking about the wildlife they can find all around. I think the title is a little misleading since some of the wildlife are more likely to be found in a suburban setting rather than an urban one, but the illustrations are very inviting and I can forgive this small misdirection. This is a solid purchase for your poetry section. 

P. K. Foster, teacher-librarian

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