I have always been in love with colors – I especially like it if they shift, swirl, and swathe into difficult-sounding shades: aquamarine, crimson, boysenberry, burnt sienna. It is no wonder that I have fallen in love with Joyce Sidman’s Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors as illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, winner of the 2009 Poetry Category in Cybils.
I borrowed this book from the NIE Library as we celebrate Crazy Over Cybils until end of February. Poetry Friday is bound to be awesome this week with Tabatha Yeatts from The Opposite of Indifference hosting the festivities. Do head on over to her site to check out other luscious poems that are on spread today.
While I am familiar with Joyce Sidman’s verse, this is probably the first time that I have been thoroughly smitten by her words. Each line leaves an imprint, an echo of the seasons, laced in multi-colored shades and hues. Pamela Zagarenski does each dripping, crunchy, windswept line so much justice with a distinctive artwork that made me wonder where this illustrator has been all my life.
I love how the colors speak, taste, and touch the winds, the leaves, the gnarled branches – even the birds are not spared by the dancing splash of paints. The moods of the colors change with the seasons – just like a woman in love with her wave of emotions that are totally dependent on the fickle mind of the moon. Green can be “shy” in the spring, but “queen in summer.” I especially like how
Green is tired,
crisp around the edges.
While each page is a gift from summer and spring, winter and autumn, my absolute favorite is the stark contrast of Black and White in the fall, and as such is my Poetry Friday offering to you all, lovely friends:
In Fall, the wind feels Black: star-spangled, full of secrets. Pup sniffs and sniffs, reading its mysteries. And there is White, resting in dark branches. It sings a song of waxing and waning, swims up through its cool sky-pool. Good night, White.
Teacher Resources. For educators who may wish to make use of this must-have-book in the classroom, here is a downloadable pdf file created by Junior Library Guild that includes activities such as alphabetic awareness, reading comprehension, literary response analysis, even a bulletin board extension that is printable in all its gorgeous designs and colors.
How about you, Poetry Friday friends, what is the color of your soul today?
Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009. Book borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos taken by me.
Caldecott Honor Book. Winner of 2009 Cybils Poetry.
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R: Red Sings from Treetops
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