Thursday, March 16, 2017

More Enchantment From Helen Frost and Rick Lieder

More Enchantment From Helen Frost and Rick Lieder

Picture books
Recall we recently discovered Sweep Up The Sun? I was over the
moon when I savored this beautiful book--so much so that when I
returned it to the Orono Public Library I showed one of our
professional librarians. She showed me two other Helen Frost (poetry)
and Rick Lieder (photographs) collaborations.
Holy Hannah!
They surely did make for good reading.
Step Gently Out brings readers face to face with some of our
world's tiny, but beautiful and fascinating denizens.
A powdery, feathery chickweed geometer moth "comes to rest with
open wings";
An orb-weaver spider "spins a silken thread and steps across the
The pages featuring an ebony jewelwing damselfly reminds us that
"In song and dance
and stillness,
they share the world
with you."
Have you ever experienced the seemingly magical appearance of
dozens of flashing lights hovering over a field or lawn at dusk?
Among a Thousand Fireflies takes readers to
"...a summer meadow
near the river,
as night's first stars
blink on,"
A female firefly, intent on mating, lands on a flower. But how, among
all the flashing males, will she find one of her own kind? We closely
follow the courtship ritual until
"Night is black
and bright
and warm.
It holds
and carries
their clear silent song."
Step Gently Out invites us all to
"be still
and watch
a single blade
of grass."
These days when so many people rush past the small enchantments of
nature, eyes fixed on small screens this is very timely advice. You
do not know what you are missing until you accept this invitation and
become aware of the complex and beautiful ecosystems that occuppy the
outside world. As one who stops to admire spiderwebs and wrote a poem
about an albino leaf hopper, may I suggest a little less screen time,
a little more nature time? These two books can surely inspire and give
The information page of Among a Thousand Fireflies informs us
that "Poets and artists and scientists all care about fireflies. We
can help protect them by learning about them and taking care of the
places where they live."
Amen to that!
On a personal note, this post celebrates a very big milestone for my
little blog. Step Gently Out and Among A Thousand Fireflies are the
999th and 1000th books I have reviewed here. (This is not, however,
my 1000th post since some (like this) have had more than one book.)
Why is this special to me? Back in the fall when I was applying to
grad school I remembered the belief that folding 1000 paper cranes
will make a wish come true. To be perfectly honest, I had neither the
time nor the patience. Also I felt making those birds with no idea
what to do with them might end up being highly wasteful. I wanted to
do a thousand somethings. Then I was into the early 900s on reviewing
and decided kicking my reading up a bit would be a lot more resourceful.
No matter how long it takes, no matter what it takes I will get into
graduate school.
A great big shout out goes out to my readers, the writers of the
wonderful books I greatly enjoyed reading and sharing, the gang at
Orono Public Library (the source of most of the books), and my future
grad school teachers and classmates!
And here's to the next thousand books! Some of them are being
created now even as you read this. I look forward to spotting and
tracking down their bright flashing lights.
jules hathaway

Sent from my iPod

No comments:

Post a Comment