Sara Check's Reviews > Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman
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Nov 14, 2011

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1.This is a junior book, poetry.

2.Joyce Sidman shares twelve poems that bring the nighttime woods to life. The poems illuminate creatures like owls, raccoons and epts to even non-living creatures like the moon and trees to share the nighttime world with the reader.

3.A. This set of very sophisticated poems shine a light on the dark wilderness and its inhabitants. They offer vivid descriptions, age appropriate language, interesting illustrations and extra information to the younger readers.

B.The best aspect of this book is the way Joyce Sidman varies the rhythm, point of view and form of each poem to help it come alive with meaning. Some poems like, Welcome to the Night, have a specific rhyme for each stanza but end with the same line “Welcome to the night!” (p 6). Where on page 12, the poem Dark Emperor is written to form the speaker, the owl, and the hunted, the mouse.

C.The point of view of each poem is different even though the eft is apparent on each page as though they are the most observant of the animals. From the old oak tree repairing himself for the next day to the cricket that waits to sing and the wise spider who loves to make life seem simple. “Eat your triumphs. Eat your mistakes: that way your belly will always be full. Use what you have. Rest when you need to. Dawn will come soon enough. Someone has to remake the world each night. It might as well be you” (p 16). This advice is what the reader makes of it, that’s what is so great about poetry. You can read it as literal it is on the page or apply it to your own; each day is a new day but be sure to revel in your successes and failures all the same. Turns out there are great creatures that roam the darkness with full of advice.

4. Curriculum Connection- A great way to expose students and your own children to poetry. Love that she included extra facts and tidbits on the opposite page of the poem. A great start to a science project!

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