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UBIQUITOUS by Joyce Sidman Kirkus Star


Celebrating Nature’s Survivors

by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

Age Range: 8 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-618-71719-4
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

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)