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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals, written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Petr Horacek. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2017. $26.99 ages 4 and up

"Chameleon Song
Chameleons have curly tails
and little toes that grip,
eyes that move on turrets,
long tongues with sticky tips.

They creep around the bushes
and can turn themselves quite green,
till they blend in with the forest
and simply can't be seen."

I was a facilitator at a workshop for teachers last Friday, where a friend and I presented new titles for sharing in classrooms and libraries. Nicola Davies' name is on every list of books I have shared for a number of years. I am in awe of the research she does, and the writing that brings animals and her love of nature and the environment to the forefront. This year there were two new books on the list. This is one of them.

Absolutely stunning for its impeccable poetic text and the lush mixed media artwork that brings young readers face to face with animals of the world, this is a celebration!

"Snail Shells

A curly suit of armor,
that's the snail's spiral shell.
It protects the snail from drying out,
from hungry mouths as well.

A shell is like a mobile house
and allows a snail to roam.
But if you take one from your garden,
it will finds its way back home."

There is something for everyone who picks up this gorgeous oversized book and wants to share it. The sections are: Big and Small, Colors and Shapes, Animal Homes, Animal Babies, and Animals in Action. Kids will know which part they want to see first. I chose Animals in Action. As with every other part of the book, I found great beauty in the words and images. Each animal is carefully and thoughtfully placed in its natural surroundings. You will want to spend time savoring the colorful, beautifully designed collages.

"Monarch Butterflies

There is a grove
where the butterflies come,
in clouds of orange wings.
Like autumn leaves played backward,
they fly up onto the twigs,
clothing, covering, the trees
in a thick coat of living flame
that shimmers as a shiver passes
from wing to wing to wing.

There is a grove
where the butterflies come,
a place of dreams and magic."                                                                       
 It's a keeper!

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