Friday, November 8, 2019

Sing a Song of Seasons by Fiona Waters


Most modern poetry for children is twaddle, so I was delighted to find an exception in Fiona Water's collection, Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year. Not only has Waters chosen fine poems filled with rich language, she chose an illustrator who captured the whimsy and wonder of the natural world. (I am troubled by the garish, cartoony figures in most children's books.)

Sing a Song of Seasons offers 365 bite-sized poems that coincide nicely with each season of the year. Several well-known poets are included such as Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Cristina Rossetti, but most are more modern. The choices are child-friendly without being too silly which shows a surprising respect for young readers. I am very hard to please when it comes to poetry, yet there were very few poems in this collection that fell completely flat. Most had gentle alliteration, beautiful imagery, and rich vocabulary. The entry for February 18:

The round full moon, 
So clear and white, 
How brightly she shines
On a winter night! 
Slowly she rises, 
Higher and higher, 
With a cold clear light, 
Like ice on fire.

Some entries will cause the reader to wonder at their meaning, but in a positive way. Take the July 19th poem for example:

I wish I was 
a dragonfly
hallelujah
in sungleam.

This would be a lovely, painless way to introduce your children or grandchildren to beautiful language. The books ends appropriately with a non-nature poem that emphasizes the pleasure of having poetry swimming around in your brain: Keep a poem in your pocket and a picture in your head and you'll never feel lonely at night when you're in bed.

Highly recommended!

Blessings,

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