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Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,839 ratings  ·  356 reviews
A 2011 Newbery Honor Book

Come feel the cool and shadowed breeze,
come smell your way among the trees,
come touch rough bark and 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 and repair from their time in the light. Whe
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 6th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Lynette Caulkins Do you mean "grammatically correct" versus non-grammatical colloquialism? If so, it is formal. The poetry is beautifully crafted, yet well within the…moreDo you mean "grammatically correct" versus non-grammatical colloquialism? If so, it is formal. The poetry is beautifully crafted, yet well within the grasp of an elementary-age child to understand.(less)

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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Gorgeous! Beautiful illustrations by Rick Allen and lovely poems by Sidman. A Caldecott possibility, I think. Each poem deals with a different aspect of the night, and on the opposite page is a paragraph of factual information about night creatures and plants. The title poem, "Dark Emperor," is a shape poem about the owl--clever! I actually learned a few things from this book. For example, I didn't know that a baby porcupine is called a porcupette. I also didn't know that trees were active at ni ...more
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully illustrated book of poetry shines a light on the mystery of night time, answering the question, what happens when we are asleep and all is dark and still? Sidman's explanation is that nocturnal insects and plants come to life, including crickets, who noisily rub a hard file on their wings to attract a mate, baby porcupines, who are called porcupettes ,and snails, who add an extra layer to their shells every night. All of these fun facts are vividly illustrated by Rick Allen's ri ...more
Edward Sullivan
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, picture-books
A stunningly illustrated, excellent collection of poems about creatures of the night
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Our oldest loves owls and is in a poetry-writing frenzy right now, so when I saw this book at our local library, I just knew that it would be great for her. The poems are short, fun to read aloud and many of them rhyme. I loved the poem about the owl and how the poem itself took the shape of an owl. Also, both fascinating and educational are the little snippets of information about each poem's topic that expounds a little on the subject without being overly detailed or boring.
We loved Rick Alle
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a picture book written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Rick Allen. It won the Newberry Honor Book of 2011.

This is a beautiful book of poems that explain the nocturnal world. The book contains a poem on one page and facts about the forest on the opposite page. There is a poem of a spider on one page, “Night-Spider’s Advice,” the opposite page has facts about spiders. It explains how spiders build their webs, the different insects they hunt, among other important facts. There are poems
Some poems were better than others. I especially loved the Spider poem.
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm (very slowly) trying to read all the Newbery Medal winners and Honor Books, and this was a Newbery Honor Book for 2011. But I must admit I bought it just because of that cover. What a powerful image! And the artwork between the covers is wonderful, too. Even the Table of Contents page is colorful and fun to look at.

The book sticks to a strict pattern of poetry on the left-hand page, and on the right, a short lesson about the outdoor world at night. I learned quite a lot from those lessons. S
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is a beautifully illustrated book of poetry. 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.” The outcome is a lavishly detailed picture shadowed with soft light that mimics twilight, dawn or a delicate moonlight evening. The relie ...more
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, poetry
Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night, what an intriguing title! Joyce Sidman’s poetry and Rick Allen’s illustrations capture the reader’s attention from the front cover and every page there after. As the title indicates each poem eloquently describes the nocturnal creatures we daytime creatures don’t often pay attention to (snail, owl, eft and even a tree).

Sidman chose her words wisely to convey the beauty of the night. The twelve poems starting with sunset and ending with sunrise are wr
Phil Jensen
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
A skilled blend of poetry, nonfiction, and illustrations. My feelings about it winning the Newbery? Eh. My strongest reasons for liking it (illustrations and educational value) are not supposed to be Newbery criteria, so I don't think it's all that strong of a contender. A similar book with a stronger set of poems would be Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices.
Lisa Mason
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it

2. This poetry collection by Joyce Sidman is a beautiful description of the night through the plants and animals that call it home. The poems are a tribute to nocturnal creatures like the owl, the snail, and the cricket. Even plants like trees and mushrooms are highlighted as they move and grow through the darkness.

3.A. Format/Layout B. The author organizes the twelve poems in this collection as if the reader is traveling through the night from the first hint of darkness to the morning
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, picture-books
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
By Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by Rick Allen
2011 Newbery Honor Book

“To all of you who crawl and creep,
who buzz and chirp and hoot and peep,
who wake at dusk and throw off sleep;
Welcome to the night.”

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night is a nature themed book that combines poems, illustrations and nonfiction notes on the creatures and things that appear in the poem and illustrations. The combination of these three parts creates a wonderful whole that d
Charmie McKinney
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Rick Allen
This book of poetry mainly talks about creatures of the night. The first poem of the book is entitled: Welcome to the Night, a rhyming poem that introduces how the nocturnal world wakes. But it's more than that, just reading this part of the poem you would not get the fact that it is referring to a raccoon coming from his home in a hollow tree looking for food. However one feature I really enjoyed from the b
An absolutely splendid book. I actually like the illustrations a little more than the poetry but only just. It would be a wonderful book to read with a child, but also makes a great addition to your nature poem collection no matter your age.

The poems are very short and sweet explorations of nocturnal flora and fauna. They are all good, but a few shine above the rest. I also really enjoy how educational they are, teaching about the subject of the poem without being boring. There are plenty of fu
How does Sidman do it so consistently, so well?? The night in the forest becomes magical through her words, at times serious, at others light. She uses word play, rhythm, sounds, and facts in each poem, then supplements with well-written facts about the animal, insect, or plant. A book like this can't help but interest children in science! Some poems are majestic; others are lighthearted; still others give advice; all deliver first-class poetry and facts. The glossary is another nice touch, wher ...more
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
1. Poetry - Junior Book.
2. This book provides poetry about certain animals that come out in the dark and are nocturnal animals. The author gives great poems, but also provides facts on these animals for those who are curious.
3.a. Extra information
b. The information provided to the reader on the animals that are presented in the poems is great. Often times those who read poems about animals, want to understand more and this provides that starting point.
c.I feel as if the information allows stude
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bibliography
Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night is a book of poems about creatures and plants of the night, such as raccoons, mushrooms, and owls. On the side of each poem there is also some factual information about each animal or plant. These poems show children that poetry is all around them in nature. Children can explore each of these poems and become inspired to write their poems about nature. For older children, they may explore different aspects of the poems like their rhyme, metaphors, or ...more
Jim Erekson
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
These topical nature poems are accompanied by informational text on the opposite page. The design makes this parallel text not distracting. Rick Allen's lino-cut illustrations are remarkable, mostly because of the description of his three-block process. This is painstaking work. I appreciate all the work of Sidman's to make this many poems just right, too. This is one of the situations where I can see 50/50 being a fair deal.

The poems have a clear sense of each night animal having been observed
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman is a book of poems about things in nature that seem to come to life in the nighttime, including nocturnal animals, trees that take in extra water through their roots at night, the moon, and more.

I liked that while all of the poems were written by the same author, each one is unique. For example, the first poem has a repeating line, "Welcome to the moon," at the end of each stanza. The poem "Dark Emperor" about a mouse that runs from the g
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
Description: Dark Emperor is a collection of a dozen poems about the night. There is a poem about about a spider, a porcupette, mushrooms, an eft, an owl, a bat, the moon, moths, fungi, etc.

Curriculum Connection: Comprehension. 4.5 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of poetry. Have the students write a poem about an animal or anything that interest them.

Personal Reaction: I loved the poem about the primose moth because I had never heard about this particular species.

Visual Appea
Nov 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A stunning book. Marriage of beautiful, well-crafted poetry in which every word enriches and adds pepper and spice; thoughtfully written descriptive nonfiction with facts about nocturnal animals, appropriate for a child reader; gorgeous, gorgeous block prints colored with gouache (there's even a description of the artist's process in the CIP data); and a charming red eft (a young, wandering newt) to carry us through a night in the woods. This is a truly unique package, and a masterful follow-up ...more
Oct 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wow, just wow! This is an amazing work of art, the way the poems and the illustrations work together. The ballad of the wandering eft is pretty amazing, but each poem brings something different and new. I am not surprised this won a Newbery honor
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, science
It is Joyce Sidman's year. I cannot decide which title I like better, Dark Emperor or Ubiquitous. Could she nab multiple prizes? Caldecott? (she's not the illustrator) Siebert? Lee Bennett Hopkins Award for Poetry?

I re-read it in 2014. (Originally read it on December 5, 2010.)
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This book contains a set of twelve different poems about nocturnal world. The first poem starts by welcoming the night and all of the animals and insects that make the night come alive. The last poem is about titled “Moon’s Lament” as the sunrise is coming. There are poems about a snail, an owl, the oak tree, the crickets, mushrooms and other animals. In addition to the poem, the author includes additional information about either an animal, mushrooms and trees. The poem titled “Oak After Dark” ...more
Megan Reed
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edli-200
Category/Genre: Poetry/Picture Book

Copyright Date: 2010

Estimate of age level of interest: Grades 3 - 6

Estimate of reading level: Grade 6

Brief description:

In this book poems of the mystery, beauty, (and sometimes danger) of a woods night alternate with relief prints colorfully painted with gouache and facts of the forest.

Two characteristics of poetry/picture books that appear in this book:

1. The fall and rise of night is marked by 12 poems. The poems are a mixture of lyrical and free verse. As
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night is a Newberry Honor book that I found on the ALA website. This book is written in wonderfully descriptive poems by Joyce Sidman and beautifully illustrated by Rick Allen who produces prints using linoleum cuts, wood engravings, and broadsheets. The illustrations capture the details of each poem which describes animals and plants that are active at night. On one page of the book is the poem and on the opposite page is factual information about the subject ...more
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This hybrid text contains poems as well as information about nocturnal animals. One side of the page houses poems of various formats (e.g. free verse, concrete) and rhyme schemes. The informational portions of the book provide a lot of interesting facts, but this does not distract the reader from the poems or the artwork. The information and the poems provide the reader with multiple perspectives of these creatures. The illustrator used the process of relief painting to create the artwork for th ...more
Hanna Watkins
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Summary: Sidman's "Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night" writes about the night-world through 12 short poems including topics like trees, nature, plants, and animals. The illustrations throughout the book really tie into the imagination portion for the children. Although, the book is poetry it is educational and gives children an insight to a whole other view of nighttime.

Evaluation: Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and felt that the illustrations really helped tell the story and expre
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a work of poetry. The book is a Newberry honor book. I believe the age the book is intended for is older readers - first grade and above. I would say its intended for older readers because the language in the book is a little more advance. The book has multiple poems combined to create one story. Each poem revolves around the night and creatures of the night. On the left side of the page is the poem, and on the right is an in depth illustration that displays that poem visually. The ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
"Where is the thrum of crickets,
the throbbing of frogs?
Where are the great flocks of travelers
whose soft wings whispered to me,
wave upon wave,
beating toward some distant wood?
Where are the stars?"

Have you ever wondered what happens in the woods at night? Joyce Sidman combines a poem with facts on the facing page to describe the lives of nocturnal animals and what is happening with the trees, mushrooms and the moon at night. The above excerpt is from "Moon's Lament" on page 28. The poems are won
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Joyce Sidman lives in Wayzata, Minnesota.