We’ve been reading the recent Caldecott winners just as quickly as the library can get them to us. Marjorie Priceman’s Hot Air : The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride, one of the Caldecott Honor Books, has been a huge hit with five-year-old Beanie, who is enchanted with the sky-high adventures of the hapless sheep, duck, and rooster in of the basket of that famous balloon.
Another of this year’s Honor Books caught the fancy of the whole family, whetting our appetites for the spring days that are just around the corner. Song of the Waterboatman and Other Pond Poems by Joyce Sidman, gorgeously illustrated in a palette of greens by Beckie Prange, is a collection of poems from the point of view of small pond denizens: spring peepers, caddis flies, cattails, a rather belligerent diving beetle. (“…if it moves, it is mine./ If it’s anywhere near me, it is mine./ If I’m hungry (and I’m always hungry),/ it is mine, mine, mine.”)
Naturally (no pun intended) these fascinating poems called to mind some other collections of nature poetry we are fond of. Funny how these books suddenly appeared in my read-aloud basket beside the blue sofa:
All the Small Poems and Fourteen More by Valerie Worth;
Joyful Noise : Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman;
I Am Phoenix : Poems for Two Voices, also by Paul Fleischman.
By the time we’ve savored every poem in these books, it really will be spring.
“We must love one another or die.”