Come feel the cool & shadowed breeze, come smell your way among the trees, come touch rough bark & leathered leaves: Welcome to the night. Welcome to the night, where mice stir and furry moths flutter. Where snails spiral into shells as orb spiders circle in silk. Where the roots of oak trees recover & repair from their time in the light. Where the porcupette eats delicacies & coos & sings. Come out to the cool, night wood. A poetical, illustrated look at the night and night creatures. (Goodreads Summary)
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen is a wonderous combination of poetry, illustration & information about nighttime and creatures of the night. The poems are varied in form, including a concrete poem in the shape of an owl. The poems beg to be read aloud, and could be effective in either a poetry or science unit. The author information is interesting and informative.
The illustrations are fantastic with lots of details. The two page speads at the beginning and end of the book show moonrise and sunrise. The illustrations “were made by a process of relief painting. A drawing or sketch is transferred onto a block of wood or…sheet of linoleum mounted on wood, and the drawing is then cut and carved away using a variety of tools. The areas left uncut are covered with ink and printed on paper by hand or on a press.”
This collaboration should definitely be a Notable Book and remains a possibility for Newbery and Caldecott recognition. For grades 2 to 8, for use in poetry and science units, and for those who love the night.