Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold
by Joyce Sidman illustrated by Rick Allen
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. 32 pgs. Nonfiction
Joyce Sidman's reliably beautiful poetry and Rick Allen's amazing linoleum block prints (digitally scanned and layered) make Winter Bees . . . an instant classic of children's nature books. Tundra swans sense the imminence of their migration in the opening poem of the book: . . . "That night, we dreamed the journey;/ice-blue sky and the yodel of flight,/the sun's pale wafer,/ the crisp drink of clouds./We dreamed ourselves so far aloft/that the earth curved beneath us/and nothing sang but/a whistling vee of light." Besides Allen's lovely pictures, each animal is given a paragraph of detailed explanation of why and how they do what they do. Art and science combine in this fine volume for nature lovers, young and old.