We began by reading Step Gently Out, by Helen Frost. Bookworm1 was snickering at the cover because he knows I don't like bugs. In his mind, this book promised to be awesome. Of course, I obliged him by making disgusted faces when having to stare at the insects at my fingertips.
Now, I'm not into poetry and therefore I am not really fit to critique it. This book flowed together very loosely, containing only one line of text per page spread. The idea of Step Gently Out is to cause the reader to be aware of the little creatures that exist in the outdoors. Step outside and enter into the magical world of . . . bugs.
"An ant climbs up to look around.
A honeybee flies past."
Each line is accompanied by a picture of something with beady little eyes. I jest (sort of) but I will say in all honesty that the photography by Rick Lieder suits the text beautifully.
Bookworm1's thoughts: Interesting, but "not very funny." (He was hoping I'd gross out more or something.)
Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature, by Nicola Davies was the one I was most looking forward to reading through and is my particular favorite. The illustrations by Mark Hearld draw me in. Each page spread is a collage, piecing together the scene which illustrates the individual poems contained in this book. Again, I'm not a poetry critic but the only poetry I ever seem to be able to stomach (and moderately enjoy) is poetry about the great outdoors.
The poems in this book are simple and sweet and therefore easy for children to sit through in brief chunks of time. (There are 102 pages of verses inside so this isn't exactly something that is intended to be devoured in one sitting.) There are poems about the seasons, the wind, the seashore, a starry sky, a spider's web, chickens, acorns, lizards and worms. Reading these verses makes you want to go out and take a long walk through a magical wood.
My favorite poem in this book is called Night.
"The moon sails white and silver in the dark sky.
Sometimes you can feel,
sometimes you can feel,
sometimes you can feel the world is turning."
Bookworm1's thoughts: Not very appealing. (We only got a few poems in before he became distracted. I ended up looking at this book all by my lonesome, to tell you the truth. But I enjoyed it!
Ok, I suspected that A Little Bitty Man and Other Poems for the Very Young, by Halfdan Rasmussen was going to be the winner and I was right. You see, we have rather sophomoric humor around these parts and if you mention anything at all about anything related to the bathroom, both boys erupt into riotous laughter. (Neither I nor their father trained them to do this. It just happened and we're working on when it's appropriate to make certain jokes and when it isn't.)
The following line appeared in this book and it put both sons in stitches:
"Tiptoes to stoop on,
and potties to poop on!"
I hardly need to say more. This book is full of silly little rhymes that may have made a grown woman snicker but the young boys laugh hysterically.
Bookworm1's thoughts: "So, so funny!"
Now comes the nice part you've been waiting for . . .
Candlewick Press has offered to give away one of the above titles of your choosing to one of you.
Simply leave a comment below and include the following:
1. A valid e-mail address; and
2. Which title you would like to win, should your name be selected as the winner.
This contest is open to U.S. Residents only and will be open through Thursday, April 26th.
Thank you, Candlewick Press, for continue to expose myself and my children to bits of poetry and for offering another individual the chance to do the same!