Dark emperor & other poems of the night

Joyce Sidman

Book - 2010

A collection of poems that celebrate the wonder, mystery, and danger of the night and describes the many things that hide in the dark.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j811/Sidman Checked In
Subjects
Published
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010.
Language
English
Physical Description
29 p. : col. ill. ; 26 x 28 cm
ISBN
9780547152288
0547152280
Main Author
Joyce Sidman (-)
Other Authors
Rick Allen (illustrator)
  • Welcome to the night
  • Snail at moonrise
  • Love poem of the primrose moth
  • Dark emperor
  • Oak after dark
  • Night-spicer's advice
  • I am a baby porcupette
  • Cricket speaks
  • The mushrooms come
  • Ballad of the wandering eft
  • Bat wraps up
  • Moon's lament.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Like Sidman's Caldecott Honor Book, Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems (2005), this picture book combines lyrical poetry and compelling art with science concepts. Here, poems about the woods at night reveal exciting biology facts that are explained in long notes on each double-page spread. In a poem about crickets, lines describe "the raucous scrape / of wing against wing," while a prose passage explains that the cricket's wing has a serrated "file," which the cricket rubs against a hard "scraper" on its other wing to attract a mate, creating a sound called "stridulation" that can swell to deafening levels. The facts are further reinforced in the accompanying picture, which shows the small file on a cricket's wing. In an opening note, Allen explains his elaborate, linoleum-block printmaking technique, and each atmospheric image shows the creatures and the dense, dark forest with astonishing clarity. Looking closely at a picture of a snail, for example, readers will see the physical detail, described in an adjacent poem, in the small animals' moist, sluglike bodies, "riding on a cushion of slime." The thrilling title poem captures the drama of predator and prey: a mouse in the undergrowth flees an owl's "hooked face and / hungry eye." A final glossary concludes this excellent, cross-curricular title. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Welcome to the night!" cries the opening poem in this celebration of nocturnal life. Everything from snails to mushrooms has a role to play and something different to say (the title is taken from a concrete poem about a horned owl, narrated by its would-be prey: "Perched missile,/ almost invisible, you/ preen silent feathers,/ swivel your sleek satellite/ dish of a head"). Spiders offer advice, porcupettes pirouette, and the moon laments the dawn, all illuminated by debut talent Allen's detailed yet moody prints, which encapsulate the mysteries and magic of the midnight hours. Opposite each poem is a short note on the featured creature, explaining its appearance and habits. In Sidman's delicious poems, darkness is the norm, and there's nothing to fear but the rising sun. Ages 6–9. (Sept.) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 3–6—Sidman continues her explorations of natural history in this set of poems about nocturnal life in the forest. As in her other collections, each selection is set in an expansive spread that includes a factual discussion of the featured subject. The illustrations are bold, richly detailed linoleum prints colored in gouache. The 12 poems are led by a scene setting "Welcome to the Night" and go on to feature 9 different creatures and some mushrooms with a concluding lament by the moon as night fades into morning. Sidman adroitly applies varied poetic forms and rhyme schemes. The title's dark emperor, the great horned owl, lends its shape to the one concrete poem, and the closing lament is in the medieval style known as an ubi sunt. The poetry is reflective and at times philosophical. "Build a frame/and stick to it,/I always say./Life's a circle….Eat your triumphs,/eat your mistakes:/that way your belly/will always be full…," advises the night spider. Other poems are playful and some just a bit confusing. The porcupine poem explains that the infant of this species is known as a porcupette; the repeated use of "baby porcupette" seems oddly redundant. The bookmaking is beautiful with the concept of night lending itself generously to poetry. It invites lingering enjoyment for nature and poetry fans, and, as with Sidman's earlier collections, it might be used with varied curriculums.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston [Page 122]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Illustrations and nighttime-themed poetry celebrate the natural world after dark and describe such subjects as silk-weaving spiders, oak trees that recover from their time in the sun, and a raspberry-leaf-eating porcupette that coos to its mother.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Intricately detailed spreads and nighttime-themed poetry celebrate the natural world after dark and describe such subjects as silk-weaving spiders, oak trees that recover from their time in the sun and a raspberry-leaf-eating porcupette that coos to its mother. By the author of the Caldecott Honor-winning Red Sings from Treetops.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A 2011 Newbery Honor Book Come feel the cool and shadowed breeze, come smell your way among the trees, come touch rough bark and leathered leaves: Welcome to the night. Welcome to the night, where mice stir and furry moths flutter. Where snails spiral into shells as orb spiders circle in silk. Where the roots of oak trees recover and repair from their time in the light. Where the porcupette eats delicacies—raspberry leaves!—and coos and sings. Come out to the cool, night wood, and buzz and hoot and howl—but do beware of the great horned owl—for it’s wild and it’s windy way out in the woods! This Newbery Honor-winning picture book combines beautifully written poetry with facts of the forest and elaborate illustrations to form a marvelously engaging collection.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A 2011 Newbery Honor Book Come feel the cool and shadowed breeze, come smell your way among the trees, come touch rough bark and leathered leaves: Welcome to the night. Welcome to the night, where mice stir and furry moths flutter. Where snails spiral into shells as orb spiders circle in silk. Where the roots of oak trees recover and repair from their time in the light. Where the porcupette eats delicacies—raspberry leaves!—and coos and sings. Come out to the cool, night wood, and buzz and hoot and howl—but do beware of the great horned owl—for it’s wild and it’s windy way out in the woods! This Newbery Honor-winning picture book combines beautifully written poetry with facts of the forest and elaborate illustrations to form a marvelously engaging collection.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Welcome to the night, where poet and printmaker offer an organic and illuminated look at the very intriguing creatures that linger in the very dark night wood.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

A 2011 Newbery Honor Book Come feel the cool and shadowed breeze, come smell your way among the trees, come touch rough bark and leathered leaves: Welcome to the night. Welcome to the night, where mice stir and furry moths flutter. Where snails spiral into shells as orb spiders circle in silk. Where the roots of oak trees recover and repair from their time in the light. Where the porcupette eats delicacies'raspberry leaves!'and coos and sings. Come out to the cool, night wood, and buzz and hoot and howl'but do beware of the great horned owl'for it's wild and it's windy way out in the woods! This Newbery Honor-winning picture book combines beautifully written poetry with facts of the forest and elaborate illustrations to form a marvelously engaging collection.

Review by Publisher Summary 7

Welcome to the night, where poet and printmaker offer an organic and illuminated look at the very intriguing creatures that linger in the very dark night wood.