Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold

by Joyce Sidman (Author) Rick Allen (Illustrator)

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.

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Publishers Weekly

Starred 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.)

Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

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

Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

* "Each poem brings a sense of humor, respect, or wonder to its subject."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Concluded with a glossary of big but fascinating words, this is equally suited to curricular units and cozy reads in front of a fire."
—Booklist, starred review

* "A work to be savored by young artists and scientists."
—Kirkus, starred review

* "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."
—School Library Journal, starred review

"A handsome, persuasive, and authentic ambassador for creatures in their natural state."
—Horn Book Magazine

"A collection that's as crisp as the first snowfall, Winter Bees is the pefect way to pass a chilly afternoon."
—Bookpage

"This author-artist duo makes winter wonder-filled."
—Shelf Awareness

* "Sidman is a master at retaining overall momentum while giving the individual poems their own form and style."
—Bulletin, starred review
Joyce Sidman
Accolades for Joyce Sidman's books include a Newbery Honor, a Lee Bennet Hopkins Award, a Cybil Award, and two Caldecott Honors. She lives in Wayzata, Minnesota. www.joycesidman.com

Taeeun Yoo was awarded the Society of Illustrators' 2007 Founders Award and the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award twice. She lives in South Korea. www.taeeunyoo.com
Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9780547906508
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Clarion Books
Publication date
November 20, 2014
Series
Junior Library Guild Selection
BISAC categories
JNF042000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Poetry | General
JNF051100 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Environmental Science & Ecosystems
JNF003000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | General
Library of Congress categories
Animals
American poetry
Children's poetry, American
Winter
Children's Book Committee Award
Winner 2015 - 2015
Minnesota Book Award
Winner 2015 - 2015
Rhode Island Children's Book Awards
Nominee 2016 - 2016
Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award
Winner 2015 - 2015
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award
Nominee 2016 - 2016
Red Clover Award
Nominee 2016 - 2016
Cybils
Finalist 2015 - 2015

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