Forest Has a Song
by Amy VanDerwater
illustrated by Robbin Gourley
A spider is a "never-tangling dangling spinner / knitting angles, trapping dinner." A tree frog proposes, "Marry me. Please marry me.... / Pick me now. / Make me your choice. / I'm one great frog / with one strong voice." VanDerwater lets the denizens of the forest speak for themselves in twenty-six lighthearted, easy-to-read poems. As she observes, "Silence in Forest / never lasts long. / Melody / is everywhere / mixing in / with piney air. / Forest has a song." The graceful, appealing watercolor illustrations perfectly suit these charming poems that invite young readers into the woodland world at every season.
Spring has been creeping up on us very slowly. With a beautiful day here and a snowstorm there. When this book arrived for my review I first read it on my own. I sat on my overstuffed couch and read the beautiful words of the author and got lost in the relaxing watercolors of the illustrator. I was transported through the words and pictures... but something was missing.
I decided that this book deserved to be read outside. So I took my daughter out on a sping-like day and I read her the beautiful poems. This book is intended for older children (ages 6-9), but with my help my almost 4 year old was able to understand and talk with me about the beauty of nature.
As I read this to my daughter I imagined myself back in the classroom. My third graders would have LOVED this book. I always made a big deal out of spring with my students. They start to get cabin fever and spring is a much needed relief for them. We would often go out on sunny days and read or go for nature walks to see the buds starting to peek out. I think that the words and illustrations from this book would really have made an impact on them. Telling us to slow down and take in the beauty. Stop and listen to the sounds around us. The trees blowing the wind, the birds chirping, the sounds or songs of nature.
This book is beautiful from the first word to the last. I love that it is chock full of beautiful poems so you can read a bunch at once... or just a couple here and there. This is the perfect book to celebrate the changing of seasons, poetry month, and Earth Day!