Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More!

Kirkus Reviews (January 1, 2013)

Eighteen poems designed to be read aloud present the world of growing things in paired first-person voices. Ideal for classroom use, this collection of short performance pieces introduces seed distribution, plant germination, the roles of roots and sunlight, pollinators and some familiar creatures. Working this plant world are two kinds of bees, worms, snails, ladybugs and, of course, monarch butterflies--as caterpillars munching milkweed, in chrysalises and emerging to fly. With short lines, judicious use of rhyme and some interesting language, the poetry works well. "Let's get out of these coats. / I'm not ready. Please wait! / It's easy. I'll show you. / Watch me germinate." The personification of each subject will appeal to young readers, and the voices are distinguished by spacing on the page as well as by color. For the most part, each double-page spread contains a single poem, illustrated withYelchin's bright graphite-and-gouache paintings, which take full advantage of the author's colorful subjects. There are indoor and outdoor scenes: One child blows a dandelion seed; two others observe seedlings. Other animals appear, too: birds, a dog, a hungry rabbit and a curious vole. Connections are everywhere. On a final page, Gerber summarizes the processes introduced in her poems. A pleasing introduction to plant biology with cross-curricular appeal. (Informational poetry. 4-7)

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