Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow
Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow
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Annotation: Discover the hidden world of the meadow in this unique combination of poetry riddles and science wisdom.
Genre: Poetry
Catalog Number: #4373984
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition Date: 2006
Illustrator: Krommes, Beth,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-618-56313-X
ISBN 13: 978-0-618-56313-5
Dewey: 811
LCCN: 2005003921
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Sidman follows the Song of the Waterboatman and other Pond Poems (2005) with another picture-book collection of verse that celebrates an ecosystem. Here, the setting is a meadow, and each energetic selection offers another view of a wild, buzzing landscape teeming with animals, from leaping grasshoppers to barely glimpsed deer ("Swift / Still / Here / Gone"). Many poems are more conceptually challenging than those in Waterboatman, and children will have questions about the science references and each poem's riddle, which invites them to guess the poem's subject. Krommes' scratchboard illustrations have a static, decorative quality that lacks the startling vibrancy of Becky Prange's work in Waterboatman. Once again, though, Sidman supports the poetry with fact-filled, prose paragraphs, and an appended glossary further defines concepts. As in Waterboatman, the poetry draws children straight into an awe-inspiring natural world with infectious sounds and beats, inventive images, and a range of poetic styles that make the book, like Sidman's previous titles, an excellent choice for use across the curriculum. Also suggest Maxine Kumin's Mites to Mastodons.
Horn Book
Four stories span three seasons, feature two sheep, and illuminate one great friendship. Blanche and Otis rake leaves in the fall, and after a storm topples Otis's tree, Blanche gives him a baby pine tree for Christmas and presents him with lawn chairs made from his old tree. Caple's soft illustrations depict the changing seasons and emphasize the quiet mood of the episodic plot.
Kirkus Reviews
Combining striking illustrations, evocative poems that do double duty as riddles and lucid prose commentary, this venture into the natural world stands out for both its beauty and its unusual approach. Young naturalists will find plenty to pore over in Krommes's ground-level scenes, rendered in strong-lined color scratchboard and featuring accurately observed wildflowers, insects and other life against stylized backdrops. In paired poems, Sidman finds subtle relationships in each setting: between morning dew and warm sun; fox and rabbits; deer and patient trees; the internal plumbing of a plant and the spittlebug that taps it to create a protective barricade. "Beautiful bubbles, / bubbles of pearl, / all in a clustery, bubbly swirl / Bubbles I blow / from my own bubble-spout / (I'll never / I'll never / I'll never come out!)." Except for a visual clue, the subjects of each poem-pair are left for readers to guess at, until a page turn reveals concise, specific explanations and details. A top-drawer blend of art and science. (glossary) (Picture book/poetry/nonfiction. 8-10)
School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 5 As in Song of the Water Boatman (Houghton, 2005), Sidman applies her flair with poetry to explore the interactions of creatures and plants in a particular environment. Here, she employs varied poetic forms with simple explanations for a pleasing introduction to meadow ecology. The poems are posed as riddles in facing pairs: We are the ghosts/of those/who have come before/The gray ones/Leaping/Gone/ What are we? The spread following each set answers the questions and describes briefly an aspect of each animals physiology or behavior. Visual clues complement the poetic suggestions in striking scratchboard scenes that are saturated with color. The busy, patterned views provide readers with much to see in this meadow, including magnified views of the insect denizens. They also incorporate ample white space for the text, nicely highlighting the visual qualities of much of the poetry. Sidman concludes with a brief explanation of how meadows change over time and eventually become forests through the process of succession. This term is defined again in the glossary, which also includes one poetry form, the pantoum. This book is a handsome and versatile compendium, melding art, poetry, and natural history. Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Word Count: 2,074
Reading Level: 5.3
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 108584 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.3 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q39436
Lexile: 1020L

Discover the hidden world of the meadow in this unique combination of poetry riddles and science wisdom. Beginning with the rising sun and ending with twilight, this book takes us on a tour through the fields, encouraging us to watch for a nest of rabbits, a foamy spittlebug, a leaping grasshopper, bright milkweed, a quick fox, and a cruising hawk.


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