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BUTTERFLY EYES by Joyce Sidman Kirkus Star


and Other Secrets of the Meadow

by Joyce Sidman & illustrated by Beth Krommes

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-56313-X
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

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)