Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems = Gov. Dodge S.P.

by Joyce Sidman—

The Read to Lead Book for the first week of April, 2012 combines fact with fancy. The book is bound to delight pint-sized scientists, especially when it is enjoyed along the banks of Governor Dodge State Park's' lakes.

The School Library Journal said, "K-Gr 5-Seasons set the stage for this celebration of the diverse life of ponds. The book begins with the poem, "Listen for Me," in which spring peepers wake from their winter hibernation and sing out, "Listen for me on a spring night,/on a wet night,/on a rainy night./-Listen for me tonight, tonight,/and I'll sing you to sleep." The melodic verse continues through summer with a cumulative poem that highlights the food chain of a pond, cattails in all seasons and late fall when a painted turtle settles into the mud. Sidman employs several poetic forms, such as haiku and rhymed and unrhymed verse, and varied line structure, and her arrangement of the 11 poems is natural and exact. Each one is accompanied by a paragraph that provides scientific information about a specific creature, plant, or aspect of pond life. Prange's woodcuts are a natural accompaniment to these poetic compositions. The dark lines naturally contrast against watercolor hues that reflect the changing seasons. Beginning with subtle pastel shades of spring, tones gradually deepen through the lush colors of midsummer and conclude with subdued earthy browns and violet sunsets of early winter. Perspectives in illustrations shift from one poem to another, providing a unique depiction of the life below the water, on shore level, and in the surrounding reeds and trees.

Watch this short video as the author, Joyce Sidman reads a poem from the book:

Read to Lead Program.
The Wisconsin State Park System is teaming up with the Read to Lead program to encourage kids and 
families to read everywhere—including in the outdoors! Kids, if you are 5 to 9 years old and read 20 or more books, you can enter your name in a drawing for a Kindle Fire and other prizes.
Here's what you need to do.
  • Print out the Read to Lead checklist
  • Visit the state parks listed to find the books, or check them out anytime from a library. Some State Parks will have special programs to go along with their book. Visit Wisconsin State Parks to learn more about the parks and events.
  • Read (or have someone read to you) 20 or more books. Check them off on the list. 
  • Have your parent or guardian sign and send the form to the address on the checklist and you will be entered in the drawing for a Kindle Fire.