Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold
Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold

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Annotation: Twelve poems draw readers through the first whiff of winter sending tundra swans migrating to warmer climates to the humble, unlikely first observers of spring's arrival.
Genre: Poetry
Catalog Number: #97806
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition Date: 2014
Illustrator: Allen, Rick,
Pages: 29 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-547-90650-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-86077-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-547-90650-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-86077-3
Dewey: 811
LCCN: 2013039007
Dimensions: 25 x 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Sidman exemplifies winter survival strategies of a well-chosen sample of species. Her poems are precise, evocative, lyrical, varied in tone; facts in succinct (separate) prose illuminate the imagery of each. It's as beautiful visually as it is verbally: winter's browns, blues, and whites are warmed with glowing honey tones; a note describes Allen's "unlikely marriage" of hand-colored linoleum blocks with computer techniques. Glos.
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
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The creators of Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night (2010) offer here a dozen winter-themed poems detailing the natural world. Topics range from migrating tundra swans and hibernating snakes to shivering bees and diving beavers. Each double-page spread contains a poem, full-page art, and a scientific note. Take, for example, "Vole in Winter," in which the titular critter considers snow: "How it appeared so softly one night, / just as the bitter wind had almost / sucked the very life from my bones: / a blanket made of sky-feathers!" Meanwhile, Allen's hand-colored linoleum block and digitized art depicts a contemplative vole surrounded by snow and the dry grasses that sustain him. Only at the last minute does he notice a red fox poised to pounce. The accompanying science paragraph offers more details about the subnivean (beneath the snow) zone occupied by these small mammals, as well as the keen hearing that helps them detect predators. Most poems address familiar topics (snowflakes, moose, trees, chickadees), but springtails (snow fleas) and skunk cabbage (an early flowering spring plant) will be new to many. Concluded with a glossary of big but fascinating words, this is equally suited to curricular units and cozy reads in front of a fire.
Word Count: 2,971
Reading Level: 6.1
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 169523 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: NP
Guided Reading Level: V
Fountas & Pinnell: V

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.

Dream of the tundra swan
Snake's lullaby
Snowflake wakes
Big brown moose
Winter bees
Under ice
Brother raven, sister wolf
Vole in winter
What do the trees know?
Chickadee's song
The whole world is melting
Triolet for skunk cabbage.

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