Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow
by Joyce Sidman
illustrated by Beth Krommes
Houghton Mifflin, 2006
Yesterday's poetry book could fit in with the ABC books. Today's multi-genre pick could be shelved in poetry or nonfiction or riddles!
Pairs of poems in double page spreads describe plants or animals of the meadow with the question at the end of each poem, "What am I?" and enough clues in the gorgeous scratchboard illustrations to guess most of the time.
Sometimes predator and prey are paired (Rabbit and Fox), while other times the poems deal with some quality the two subjects have in common (for example, the skin of snakes and of toads).
After each pair of poems comes a double page spread with the answers to the two riddle poems and the scientific information to tell why they were paired or what characteristic is being featured, as well as another gorgeous illustration.
By the end of the book, the reader will have gained in knowledge about the meadow ecosystem, and also an understanding of the interconnectedness of all of the plants, animals and systems that make up a meadow.
One of my favorite poems is a mask poem, told in the voice of a red-tailed hawk. Here is the first stanza:
An Apology to My Prey
I am deeply sorry for my huge orbs
of eyes, keen and hooded,
that pierce your lush
tapestry of meadow.