Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Song of the Water Boatman"

"Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems" by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beckie Prange, is a 2006 Caldecott Honor Book is filled with poems based on pond life.

"'Fly, Dragonfly!'

Water nymph, you have
climbed from the shallows to don
your dragon-colors.

Perched on a reed stem
all night, shedding skin, you dry
your wings in moonlight.

Night melts into day. Swift birds wait to snap you up. Fly, dragonfly! Fly!"

The wood-cut illustrations are beautiful, and there are little paragraphs which further explain things on the pond.

Food Chain

"Life in the pond begins with plants, which manufacture  food from the sun. Plants become food for plant-eating (herbivorous) animals like the tiny water flea or the water boatman. These small animals and bugs are eaten by bigger bugs, which are eaten by meat-eating (carnivorous) animals like minnows and tadpoles. Bigger fish eat the smaller fish. And the heron, with its keen eyes and sharp beak, eats whatever it wants."

The text and illustrations are amazing. Read this book to your children and students and help them learn to appreciate the beautiful language.