Friday, April 13, 2018

Poetry Friday: A Round of Robins

Hesterman, Katie. Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. A Round of Robins
March 27th 2018 by Nancy Paulsen Books
Copy provided by the publisher

This picture book sized poetry book follows Mama and Dad bird as they hatch a clutch of eggs, supervise raising the chicks, and send them off into the world. The rhymed couplets give brief information about how the nest is built, eggs are laid and hatched, and some of the activities of young chicks. Eating worms, splashing in puddles, learning to fly, and eventually being persuaded to leave the nest are all covered, and the final pages indicate that this is a process that will be repeated.

The pastel illustrations have a good portion of red in them, and the backgrounds show a good use of watercolor wash with pen and ink accents. Ruzzier may not have been trying to replicate the bird in Eastman's Are You My Mother, but the young robins certainly brought that fictional bird to mind.

The poems cover the material about bird life cycles very thoroughly, although it might have been nice to have a short section at the end of the book with more information and a few photographs, to reinforce to younger readers that all of the information is real and not a story. The poems are simple but well crafted; I am very particular about rhyme and scansion, and nothing stuck out as awkwardly done.

I normally deal with collections of poetry, or thematic poetry book that tell stories of school, so I haven't read many that teach science facts. There are apparently a number of these, however, such as Andreae's
Bustle in the bushes,  Harrison's Crawly school for bugs : Poems to drive you buggy and A place to start a family : poems about creatures that build and Lin's Our food : a healthy serving of science and poems. Who knew?

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