Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
Sidman, Joyce. 2010. DARK EMPEROR AND OTHER POEMS OF THE NIGHT. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 9780547152288 [Suggested Grade Levels K-4]
This collection of poems about the forest at night—owls, moths, and porcupines-- is the last in the trio of “ecosystem poetry books” that began with SONG OF THE WATER BOATMAN (pond) and continued with BUTTERFLY EYES (meadow). It also offers a parallel layout with beautiful linoleum prints in a double-page spread for each of 12 poems, alongside an accompanying prose paragraph. This marriage of lyrical poetry, science-focused topics, and beautifully executed art has become a Sidman (and collaborating illustrator) trademark.
Invite kids to discuss the following:
What is an “emperor”? Look at the book’s cover and speculate about the book’s content and the meaning of the word “emperor.” Imagine what happens outside your home when you sleep at night. What animals might be active? What noises might be heard?
Children can work in pairs to create nature poems and prose paragraphs about creatures in their immediate environment. Combine them to create a collaborative book. Illustrate with block prints similar to those in DARK EMPEROR; kids can try simple potato prints or leaf prints.
Other poetry books in Sidman’s eco-trilogy:
Sidman, Joyce. BUTTERFLY EYES AND OTHER SECRECTS OF THE MEADOW. ISBN 9780618563135
Sidman, Joyce. SONG OF THE WATER BOATMAN AND OTHER POND POEMS. ISBN 9780618135479
By Sylvia M. Vardell