Friday, January 27, 2012

Poetry Friday - A review of Winter Poems

After a very mild Christmas and New Year, winter is back in southern Oregon. It has been rainy and cold, and the mountains have snow on them again. Personally I am happy about this, and I was delighted to find today's poetry title sitting on my shelf. I was able to read and enjoy this celebration of winter while I sat by the fire and listened to the rain hitting the windows. 

Selected by Barbara Rogasky
Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 7 to 12
Scholastic, 1999, 978-0590428736
   For many people, including Barbara Rogasky, winter is their favorite season. It is a time of year when the air is cold and crisp, when the light seems clearer and brighter. In some places, snow on the land softens edges and muffles sounds.
   Eager to share her love of winter with young readers, Barbara Rogasky collaborated with her friend Trina Schart Hyman to create this collection. Places and characters from their own lives appear in the art, and the twenty-five poems in the book were selected with great care.
   The collection begins with a poem about the geese who, in the late fall, somehow know that it is “time to go.” Though the fields are golden, and the leaves are “green and stirring,” the memory of snow and frost and ice is in the air, and so with “Summer sun on their wings” the geese head south.
   In Oregon Winter, we read about the winter rains that are so different from the showers of summer. In winter the “rain is slow.” There is no rush and everything slows down. The farmers take their ease knowing that for a while they will not have to work outdoors.
   We are also given pictures of snow, of a boy holding “out his palms / Until they are white.” We are reminded that winter is often a season of colds and bouts of the flu. Night comes early and it is long, but in the daytime one can go skiing, walking, and skating.
   For this special book, Trina Schart Hyman has created beautiful paintings that perfectly compliment the marvelous collection of poems, new and old. 

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