Winter Bees by Joyce Sidman

by on April 1st, 2015
Winter Bees by Joyce Sidman Cover Image

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold written by Joyce Sidman is a lovely new picture book of poems suitable for grade K to grade 4.  Although there are only a dozen poems included, they are very descriptive of animals surviving in the cold long winter.  The author sometimes uses unfamiliar words in her poems but there is a brief glossary of 22 definitions in the back of the book that defines words children might not know.  Some poems rhyme but most do not.  Two of the poems are in a particular poetic form–a pantoun and a triolet–adding to the reader’s knowledge of the poetic structure used.  Sidman has certainly done her research on each animal of the frozen North she writes about.  She lives in Minnesota and has observed these creatures first hand; but the addition of a paragraph of information about each hardy animal living in the winter is something that will appeal to animal lovers, parents, and teachers who choose to share this book in the classroom.  Some of the animals included are the tundra swan, a big brown moose, winter bees, a vole, and wolves.  The aspect of this new volume of poetry that I particularly love are the beautiful illustrations by Rick Allen, another Minnesota native.  He is a printmaker and has employed his considerable skills in printing from linoleum blocks and then adding color by hand.  The prints were then digitally scanned, composed, and layered to create the artwork for the poems.  Winter Bees is a book for those who love the natural world.  And even though the poems depict winter scenes, the book ends with the coming of Spring.  Hallelujah!

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