Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Sidman, Joyce. 2010. UBIQUITOUS: CELEBRATING NATURE’S SURVIVORS. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 9780618717194 [Suggested Grade Levels 2-12]
Poetic nonfiction and poetry are combined in a picture book praising the resilience and beauty of life on Earth. Paired pages present thirteen UBIQUITOUS species through a variety of poetic styles perfect for their subjects. The physically threatening shark’s anatomy is described in detail, represented in a concrete poem. “Grass” is tall and thin, replete with the repetition of the single bladed letter “I.” Ants keep the pace, marching along in neat, orderly and uninterrupted lines. The showstopper poem is the run-on-stream-of-consciousness-single-sentence poem about squirrels, “Tail Tale:”
“…as we dash from limb to limb sailing out over the leaves with our parachute tails which by the way also act as umbrella, float, flag, rudder, and the warmest softest, coziest you could ever imagine…”
The accompanying nonfiction text is informative, humorous and lyrical. Sidman describes diatoms as “organisms that drift through the ocean by the billions, like tiny snowflakes.” Additional materials, including a glossary, acknowledgments of sources, author’s notes, and a unique time-line, work together to create a title worthy of recognition.
Using language and form UBIQUITOUS gives a voice to each of these species, presenting them as characters in the grand play of life.
Use UBIQUITOUS across the curriculum bringing poetry into the science classroom or science into an English unit.
Check out more of Joyce Sidman’s beautiful words in these collections of her poems:
DARK EMPEROR AND OTHER POEMS OF THE NIGHT. ISBN 9780547152288
RED SINGS FROM TREETOPS: A YEAR IN COLORS. ISBN 9780547014944
SONG OF THE WATER BOATMAN & OTHER POND POEMS. ISBN 9780618135479
By Marianne Follis