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Forest Has a Song: Poems
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Forest Has a Song: Poems

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  362 ratings  ·  71 reviews
A spider is a “never-tangling dangling spinner / knitting angles, trapping dinner.” A tree frog proposes, “Marry me. Please marry me… / Pick me now. / Make me your choice. / I’m one great frog / with one strong voice.” VanDerwater lets the denizens of the forest speak for themselves in twenty-six lighthearted, easy-to-read poems. As she observes, “Silence in Forest / never ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Clarion Books
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  362 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Paul  Hankins
"I'm here./Come visit./Please?"

I get excited when someone out there who gives so much to the poetry community by way of celebrating the works of others releases a first work of their very own. Well-known already in the social media circles with her presence in on-line discussions and forums and via her own blog, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is someone to befriend and follow now. . .

. . .because, in time, she is going to be huge. If FOREST HAS A SONG is any indication of what we
Richie Partington
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multiple-poems
Richie's Picks: FOREST HAS A SONG by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and Robbin Gourley, ill., Clarion, March 2013, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-618-843497

"Forest News
I stop to read
the Forest News
in mud or fallen snow,
Articles are printed
by critters on the go.

Foxes pass.
Deer run through.
Turkeys scratch
for hidden food.
Young raccoons
drink sips of creek.
Mouse and hawk
play hide and seek.
Here a possum
Mar 23, 2015 added it
Shelves: 3-5-literature
Forest Has a Song is a wonderful poetry book with beautiful illustrations for elementary age students. The author, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, writes this book with grades 1-5 in mind and whether she meant to or not, it is a great teaching companion. Her short poems are filled with repetition, rhyming, and onomatopoeia to describe nature. She has poems about squirrels, mushrooms, the trees, and almot anything found in the forest. I really enjoyed this book because even if you are not around nature w ...more
Catherine Johnson
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This poetry collection has everything you can imagine from a forest in it and every single poem is a winner. I expect it to win a lot of awards this year. Beautiful!
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The watercolors are wonderful. Plus the poems bring the artwork to life as well as being delightful in themselves.
Bridget F
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Forest Has A Song is a beautiful collection of poems about the forest. I love the different points of view in the poems. Some poems start in the point of view of a person, then it switches to the point of view of the animal it is about. Some poems are entirely from the perspective of the animal, and some are entirely from the perspective of the person. The poems are not just about animals, but they are also about plants, dead branches, leaves, and snow. The poems really create a great image of n ...more
Reviewed at:

4.5 A wonderful anthology
Since I received Forest Has a Song, I have read it at least a handful of times. Each time enjoying it as much as I did the first. Each time also helps me notice new brilliances within the poetry. Within this small yet powerful book, perspective, rhythm, rhyme, internal rhyme, onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, and imagery are all explored. This book could be an entire poetry unit mentor text itself.
I think this book is crafted brill
Brimming with exquisite watercolor illustrations and 26 poems that make readers ache for the forest's friendly solace, this book is just as delightful after multiple readings as it is upon a first read. A girl and her dog heed the forest's invitation to uncover its plentiful treasures, returning across the seasons to note in "Forest News" how "scribbled hints/ in footprints/ tell about the day" (p. 8) or how a lovely lady's slipper (a "Forest Cinderella," p. 13) has disappeared without a word: " ...more
Jackie Ostrowicki
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book with my seven-year-old on our annual summer trip to Vail. It was the perfect setting. We even borrowed the book from the Vail Public Library, which is nestled beside a gurgling mountain stream and surrounded by aspens.

The poems are lovely and range from rhyming to non-rhyming, haiku and other forms I couldn’t quite remember. They take you through the seasons, but so subtly that you barely notice. The book has a lovely cadence and alternates poems that are philosophic
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Forest Has a Song is a solid addition to this children's librarian's "go to" collection. Short, richly worded poems celebrate the minor and the majestic: dead branches, fossils, maple trees in full color, squirrels, and owls. The poet's rich word choice is lovely as well: Hoping. Hopping. High above. Crooning. Plopping. Finding love; I look for lichens, tracing flakes; stretching stems...sweetly sing greenest greetings sent to Spring. Aaaah. I use Forest Has a Song in an outdoor story time conducted in a forest once each ...more
If you love the forest like I do, you will also love what Amy and Robbin have offered in this new book of poems. They have shown the real things, like in the poem Puff, telling about those earthy wonders that one finds in the damp and dark of the forest, emitting a little cloud of spores when squeezed. And the poem Squirrel, pleading for the whereabouts of its secret stash. Amy's poems take us from entering the forest in full flower with a kind invitation, "I'm here./Come visit./ Please?" throug ...more
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love Amy LV.'s poetry, blog, and it is no surprise to me that I LOVE her first book! It is a lovely collection of nature poems that take the reader through the seasons of a forest and all of its treasures. Although the book can be read all at once, each poem can be savored on its own. Robin Gourley's delightful illustrations compliment Amy's poems in such a way that you feel as though you are alongside Amy on her walks through the forest. Nature lovers will surely delight in this collection bu ...more
Sally Deem
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book of poems would appeal to any nature lover. It is very descriptive in language and transports the reader to the tranquility of the forest. It makes you appreciate the simplicity of the outdoors and reminds us to take time to turn off the t.v. and video games, leave the cell phone behind and enjoy exploring the forest. The watercolor pictures are beautiful and capture the emotions and scenes perfectly. My son's favorite poem in the collection is Bone Pile, in which the author ponders wha ...more
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Taken from the inside jacket “Take a walk in the forest. Have a chat with a chickadee, watch the fiddleheads unfurl, discover a fossil, hear what a young owl tells its mother before its first flight."

Why I liked this book –This is an awesome book! I love the art and the poems! This is indeed a “perfect picture book”! The message is great (and important) because it talks about getting kids out and enjoying nature, and really paying attention to it. I like that it is told from the girl
Michele Knott
I love this book of poetry, it is perfect for young readers. So often, poetry that is appropriate for young readers is funny and silly. That has it's place, especially for a great introduction to poetry - a hook. But so often, young children have trouble understanding poems, what they are trying to say, the message the author is trying to convey. This book has poems that speak to young children. All of the poems are about creatures and items in the forest. The forest theme helps unite the poems. ...more
Apr 30, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a beautiful, watercolor-filled book of poetry for children, celebrating the voices of the forest, some melancholy like the frog looking for a mate, and some joyful like the owlet on his first flight.

Wintergreen: "One bite of winter / lingers in a summer leaf. / Snowflakes fill my mouth"

I heard the poet read at the recent TLA conference and her reading of First Flight and others from this, her first book, really moved me. It's a lovely ode to the forest through all the season
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Forest Has a Song by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, illustrated by Robbin Gourley
Clarion Books, 2013
32 Pages
Recommended for grades 2-4

If you've ever spent a day in or near a forest you will feel the authenticity of the poems in this collection. With the opening poem "Invitation" we are beckoned into the forest. Once inside the forest we experience the change of seasons, the wildlife within the forest walls, and the simple things one finds to do within.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This is a beautiful book. I won this through a Goodreads giveaway and couldn't be more pleased! I have 3 children and we spend much of our time at our family farm. While reading the book to my 5 year old, it was like Ms. VanDerwater had been on our hikes and adventures with us and had written the poems just for us! The illustrations are beautiful. This will definitely be a well read book at our house for years to come!
Brenda Kahn
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A perfect antidote to NDD - nature deficit disorder or poetry avoidance. This gorgeous collection of poems quietly invite young readers to get outside, to observe, to listen and smell. An evocative mix of bite-sized and longer poems depict one young girl's infatuation with nearby woods from winter through, spring, summer, fall, and back to winter The accompanying illustrations are watery and lovely.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
A collection of poems about features of a forest. There are soooooo many titles to love but my favorites are "Forest News" which is about looking at animal tracks to see what's been happening in the forest, "April Waking" which uses deliciously fun language to describe the onset of Spring, and "Fossil" which describes an imaginative experience across centuries.

Watercolor paintings illustrate every page. Overall, a fresh offering of poetry that highlights nature's beauty.
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, juvenile-nf
The forest has a song and a name: "Forest" with all the animals and seasons that one can enjoy. Sometimes the exploring girl narrates, sometimes the tree, the squirrel is talking, and the text is in italics.
Soft watercolor images portray the seasons and objects described. I do wish the poison ivy image was a bit more accurate!
Joy Keller
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book of poetry is a joyous celebration of nature. VanDerwater finds beauty in every aspect of the outdoors, from ferns and fossils to puffball mushrooms and piles of bones. My family hikes frequently, so my children were excited to read poems that reflect the things they come across on our adventures. It's a unique and wonderful book that I recommend to both parents and teachers.
A lovely picture book of well-crafted poetry exploring the seasons in a forest. The poems vary in length, style, and perspective, yet each poem is engaging and playful in tone. I especially enjoyed Forest News, an example of the humor and imagery that is found throughout this collection. A wonderful book to read aloud or enjoy quietly poem by poem.
The book, Forest Has A Song: Poems, is a wonderful and unique set of poems that describes the sights and sounds of the forest from the perspective of a girl. The illustrations in this book are very beautiful watercolor scenes. I think that this book is great for those who enjoy exploring nature through poetry.
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what it is about this book but I love it dearly. The watercolor illustrations are excellent as well. My favorite part: the one with the frog, "Proposal."

Marry me.
Please marry me.

A tree frog calls from tree to tree.
High above.
Finding love.

Pick me now.
Make your choice.
I'm one great frog
with one strong voice.
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Thought I'd read a few poems to skim the book, but ended up reading it cover to cover. As a lover of nature, I appreciated the details included in different poems. As an educator, I loved the various poetic devices to use with different students.
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-poetry
Excellent collection of different types of poems revolving around a forest and a girl who lives nearby. Beautiful watercolors show the passage of the seasons. Love the alternating POV in some of the poems as well.
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautiful poems take the reader on a journey throughout the forest. Beautiful watercolor illustrations accompany the wonderful text and reminds readers of the beauty and amazing creatures and plants to abound in the forest. A delightful read that could be appreciated by all ages.
The Styling Librarian
Forest Has a Song- Poems by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, illustrated by Robbin Gourley – Beautiful poetry book with a variety of styles, voices, and gorgeous poems that beg to be read aloud! Just love the amazing illustrations as well!
Sarah D'Arco
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Clever poetry book for children featuring the voice of the girl wandering through the forest, the forest itself, and several of the forest creatures. Loved the watercolor illustrations just as much as I loved the author's beautiful poetry!
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Students & Poetry 1 1 Mar 28, 2018 01:08AM  

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Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is author of children’s books including FOREST HAS A SONG (Clarion), EVERY DAY BIRDS (Scholastic), and READ! READ! READ! (WordSong). She is also author of POEMS ARE TEACHERS (Heinemann) and co-author of POETRY: BIG THOUGHTS IN SMALL PACKAGES (Heinemann). A former fifth grade teacher, Amy received her MA from Teachers College, has taught writing for nineteen years, and blogs ...more