Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors
Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors
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Annotation: Provides a tribute in both poetry and prose to the living creatures that have survived millions of years of evolution by developing unique characteristics, from the beetle's sturdy wings to the gecko's sticky toe pads.
Genre: Poetry
Catalog Number: #4481625
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition Date: 2010
Illustrator: Prange, Beckie,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-618-71719-6
ISBN 13: 978-0-618-71719-4
Dewey: 811
LCCN: 2009026943
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Sidman delights with another gorgeous collection of poems celebrating the natural world, this time focusing on species remarkable for their ability to adapt and thrive in an often-harsh world. Arranging her "survivors" in chronological order of time on Earth, she begins with bacteria and mollusks, moving through sharks, ants, grasses, squirrels, dandelions, crows and coyotes before arriving at the youngest survivor, humans. Each double-page spread features a poem, the tone—and often form—of which reflects its subject; some are elegant and serious, others chatty and witty. Each poem is joined by an informative paragraph that provides more detail about the behaviors and characteristics highlighted in the poem. The text is accompanied and frequently surrounded by Prange's arresting linocuts hand-colored with watercolor. Vibrant and compelling, the illustrations help create and sustain the sense of wonder that makes this collection truly special. Occupying the endpapers is an eye-opening timeline that marks the appearance of each species on a coiled string that strikingly dramatizes the long march of life on Earth. Lovely. (glossary) (Picture book/poetry. 8 & up)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 16 This volume of beautifully illustrated poems investigates the natural world, from the single-celled bacteria and diatom to the ever-present ant and dandelion. Well-researched science facts are paired with vivid poems to describe how these very special life-forms avoided extinction to become nature's survivors. The book begins 4.6 billion years ago with a newly formed Earth and continues through time as it introduces 14 types of life that are still with us today. Starting with bacteria (3.8 billion years old) and including mollusks (500 million years old), ants (140 million years old), and coyotes (2.3 million years old), the journey continues to the youngest of species, the "wise humans" or homo sapiens, that have inhabited the Earth for only 100,000 years. An illustrated time line helps bring this massive scale into the realm of children's understanding. Each spread includes a poem, amazing facts, and an exquisite, hand-colored linocut. Sidman uses a variety of poetic structures, including diamante, rhyming couplets, and unrhymed verse, and unexpected language choices to create diverse and vivid word pictures of each species. This melding of science and humor makes for enjoyable reading. The stunning illustrations engage readers and encourage questioning and further exploration. From the depiction of ant tunnels to the surprising perspective of blades of grass, the bold and colorful linocuts are incredibly detailed and successfully capture the essence of each creature as part of its larger environment. A delightful feast for the eyes, ears, and mind. Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

The team behind the Caldecott Honor–winning Song of the Water Boatman pays tribute to biologically successful species—from mollusks and lichens to dandelions and sharks—in poems that appear in order of each animal’s first appearance on earth (a striking, mazelike time line puts the billions of years into perspective). Sidman’s words are vivid and affectionate—about single-celled diatoms, she writes, “Curl of sea-/ green wave/ alive/ with invisible jewels/ almost/ too beautiful/ to eat,” and Prange’s expressive linocuts capture the character of each animal. Fascinating factual information appears on each page; the graceful integration of science and art results in a celebratory story of survival. Ages 6–9. (Apr.)

Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The creators of the Caldecott Honor Book Song of the Waterboatman and Other Pond Poems (2005) offer another winning blend of poetry, science, and art in this picture-book collection that celebrates the earth's most resilient and long-lived species. Following Waterboatman's format, each dynamic spread in this remarkable volume features a poem, a prose paragraph, and a captivating illustration that work together perfectly to reinforce both the science concepts and the awe they inspire. Prange's watercolor-tinted linocut illustrations beautifully expand both the information and imagery in the words, beginning with the endpapers' inventive graphic, a densely wound ribbon that shows where each of the poems' featured organisms first appeared in earth's vast time line. Written in a variety of formats, including a few playful concrete selections, Sidman's poems deftly weave in facts, as in "Gecko on the Wall": "Her tail comes off: / a wriggling prize!" Other poems mimic the movements of their subjects: lines in "The Ants" follow a short, steady marching beat, while a poem about squirrels consists of a single, frantically paced run-on sentence. Sidman's fascinating prose explanations are as gracefully worded as her verse and will excite young readers. Following a full-page glossary, an author's note discusses the evolutionary nature of science itself.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 3,600
Reading Level: 7.9
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.9 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 161435 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:11.9 / points:6.0 / quiz:Q49398
Lexile: NC1240L

From the creators of the Caldecott Honor Book Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems comes a celebration of ubiquitous life forms among us. Newbery Honor-winning poet Joyce Sidman presents another unusual blend of fine poetry and fascinating science illustrated in exquisite hand-colored linocuts by Caldecott Honor artist Beckie Prange. Ubiquitous (yoo-bik-wi-tuhs): Something that is (or seems to be) everywhere at the same time. Why is the beetle, born 265 million years ago, still with us today? (Because its wings mutated and hardened). How did the gecko survive 160 million years? (By becoming nocturnal and developing sticky toe pads.) How did the shark and the crow and the tiny ant survive millions and millions of years? When 99 percent of all life forms on earth have become extinct, why do some survive? And survive not just in one place, but in many places: in deserts, in ice, in lakes and puddles, inside houses and forest and farmland? Just how do they become ubiquitous?


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