Children’s Book Giveaway: Red Sings from the Treetops: A Year in Colors.
March 31, 2011

Lately, I’ve been trying to branch out into poetry with Charlotte.  With the notable exceptions of Pablo Neruda and Ezra Pound, I’m not really a huge fan of poetry, so this has been a challenge for me.

One of the books of poems we’ve picked up is Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski.  For the record: Zagarenski is an artistic genius.

I was a little unsure about whether or not a book of poetry would be a good fit for us, but Charlotte and I have both genuinely enjoyed Red Sings from Treetops.  My daughter is enthralled by the illustrations.  (Did I mention that Zagarenski is an artistic genius?  Zagarenski is an artistic genius.)  The illustrations are vibrant and colorful and Charlotte enjoys following the main characters, a pointy fellow and a small canine sidekick, through the pages.  She also loves pointing out little details that follow the characters through the pages as well: a fox, several red birds, wheels, and the like.

And I, surprisingly, love the poems.  I love that the poems center around colors and the cycle of seasons.  I love that the book rejoices in all seasons and all colors (no drab, dull, dreary winter here!) and I love that the book lends itself to discussing all five senses with my daughter.  We talk about the sounds of birds chirping and the feel of mud on our feet and the taste of pumpkin.

I know it’s a book of poetry for children, but it’s a book that I really relate to, and therefore appreciate, as well.

What to do: You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail answering this: do you like poetry?  (And if so: I’d love some recommendations for fresh reading!)  All you need is an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends Sunday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time.  You can leave one entry every day.

To purchase this book: You can buy Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors through Amazon.com by clicking here or locate a local retailer through Indie Bound.org.

Joyce Sidman | Houghton Mifflin for Kids | Houghton Mifflin Facebook | Houghton Mifflin Twitter


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  1. By on March 31, 2011

    I feel like I *should* love poetry, but it’s so hard to jump in and find some that I like!

  2. By Cambria on March 31, 2011

    There is some poetry I like, but I certainly don’t read it enough to make a recommendation. But I like the idea of a poetry book for kids. We read a lot, and I love the rhythm of many childrens books, so I think poetry would be a fun thing to introduce.

  3. By Jeneva on March 31, 2011

    In my “troubled” high school days I loved poetry. I couldn’t tell you today who I loved though as I haven’t read any since then. That book sounds wonderful, though.

  4. By on March 31, 2011

    I do like poetry, although I never feel that I am a very knowledgeable reader (that is, I don’t understand things like rhyme and meter).  I often enjoy the poems published in The New Yorker magazine.  I am also a great fan of Emily Dickinson. 

    There is a great collection of Emily Dickinson’s poems, specially selected for children, called “I’m Nobody, Who are you?“  You can check it out here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Nobody-Who-Are-You-Dickinson/dp/0916144224

  5. By Kimberly o'Rosky on March 31, 2011

    I’m not familiar with any authors who write poems for children. I think it would be a great thing to introduce especially since we lean towards rhyming books. I like the concept of the poem being about the seasons. The only poet that I’ve ever really admired and followed is Maya Angelou. In high school, she came to our local college and did a few readings. Her poems are beautiful, but even more so when she read them out loud.

  6. By on March 31, 2011

    Love it. Minored in it in college.

  7. By The Mommy Therapy on March 31, 2011

    I love poetry!  I have actually foudnd that my boys really like it too. Here are two other fun ones to are silly and fun to get kids really loving poetry.

    Me I Am! By Jack Pretlutsky

    I’m Still Here in the Bathrub by Alan Katz

  8. By on March 31, 2011

    Huh.  I am not a fan of poetry either, though I do love children’s poetry.  (Shel Silverstein, anyone?)  And I do love wordplay and creative rhyming - Sheep in a Shop is one of my absolute favorite books that Hannah has.  (“A birthday’s coming, hip hip hooray Five sheep shop for the big big day.“)  So!  Count me in for a book that will make me appreciate poetry. :)

  9. By on March 31, 2011

    We do like poetry books…right now we love all books! I can’t wait until they actually pick out books “for a reason” :-)
    You may be anti-tv but….we also like our Classical Baby DVD- the Poetry Show. My boys adore the music,art & dance shows & now that they are a little older we like the poetry too.
    Personally, as a former teacher, I adore Shel Silverstein.

  10. By Ashley on March 31, 2011

    I admire poetry, but I don’t many poets that are great for reading to kids. I’ll have to brush up on that subject before I give birth to my own little one in a few months :)

  11. By Mailis on March 31, 2011

    I LOVE poetry. I love to read it, write it and live my life as though it IS poetry. Or, well…I used to. Poopy diapers can kill the poetry urge. :)

    I would love to read this book to Mr. Jude. If I don’t win it, I will buy it. Thanks for the recommendation.

  12. By on March 31, 2011

    I like poetry, but I am very picky. I do love Shel Silverstein’s poetry for children. (be advised his adult poetry is much different)
    I also love simple romantic poetry, my favorite - Peter McWilliams

  13. By Lindsay on March 31, 2011

    I LOVE poetry! Pablo Neruda is definitely up there, but my most favorite poet is Charles Bukowski. I love his dry, back-handed wit and cynicism. He’s fantastic!

  14. By Amy on March 31, 2011

    I like poetry, but I haven’t really gotten into too much with my daughter.  I would love to check it out because I’m always looking for fun ways to teach the seasons!

  15. By on March 31, 2011

    Yes! Well some of it anyway.

  16. By Jennifer W on March 31, 2011

    I do like poetry. When I was a kid I loved Shel Silverstein.

  17. By christy on March 31, 2011

    i used to read a lot of poetry but not so much anymore.  i do like it!

  18. By Mary @ Parenthood on March 31, 2011

    I love poetry!  My Grandpa used to randomly recite bits as they related to life.  Hilarious and cool.  My daughter is going to memorize quite a bit if I have anything to say about it!

    I love AA Milne’s verses (“I do like a little bit of butter on my bread!) and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Garden of verses.

    Also “I like this poem” is a good jumping point - has a whole lot of favorites chosen by kids.

  19. By Jasmine on March 31, 2011

    LOVE neruda!!

  20. By beyond on April 01, 2011

    ezra pound is a favorite of mine too. mother goose might be a good way to ease young kids into poetry.

  21. By on April 01, 2011

    A friend gave me Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes a few years back.  It is a collection of very emotionally powerful poems, mostly centered on his memories and feelings for his late wife Sylvia Plath.

    To share with Charlotte or other children, I would recommend Ted Hughes’ “Collected Poems for Children,“

  22. By Jennifer W on April 01, 2011

    I also love Dr. Suess…that’s a type of poetry, right?

  23. By Mailis on April 01, 2011

    I love e.e cummings. Not generally child friendly, but very offbeat and sometimes brilliant.

    For children, who could forget Dr. Seuss? :)

  24. By on April 02, 2011

    Edgar Allan Poe is another favorite poet of mine.  I also grew up reading some Edgar Allan Poe poems, so I know that at least some of his poetry is suitable for sharing with kids (well, older ones, anyway).

  25. By on April 03, 2011

    Hi Sarah,

    I would recommend that you look for poems by Wendell Berry.  I think you would enjoy many of his writings, and also that you would find some of them good to read aloud to Charlotte.
    I categorize him as a great nature poet, but as I said above, I’m still much more ignorant about poetry than I’d like to be.

    Also, Annie Dillard (of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek fame) writes poetry.  I know her memoirs better than her poems, but she is a wonderful writer.

    Finally, Randall Jarrell, Walt Whitman, and William Carlos Williams are a few more of my all-time favorite poets.

    Best wishes,
    Ellie

  26. By on April 03, 2011

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I love poetry and have even published a few pieces of my own. When my baby was a little younger, I had no problem reading all sorts of poetry to her, but I’m really at a loss about what to read to a 14-month-old


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