My first exposure to Joyce Sidman was her Newbery Honor-winning Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night; I read it right after it won, and I remember enjoying it, and that’s about it. More recently, however, Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature popped up on my radar (I don’t remember how). I grabbed it because I have an artist for an oldest daughter, and both of my older girls enjoyed it. When it was no longer renewable at the library, I put another of Sidman’s books on hold, because why not? After all, Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors sounded like another title my artist daughter would enjoy.
My second girlie was so not interested that she actively did other things, even though it was her out-of-town Grandma reading it. My oldest stuck with it and thought about it, my mother said, but it was a stretch even for her. I read through it after they had moved on to something else, and I found myself in awe at the beauty of it, but it’s really not a children’s book at all. It’s a lovely poem with whimsically beautiful illustrations that no young child is going to fully appreciate. (If you love the seasons and the beauty of the world as it experiences them, though, you REALLY need to read this book.)
It will be interesting to see what the rest of her books are like, really. For the moment, I can say that in my experience, she’s always good, but not always in the same way. Nature lovers, you need to give her a try; Moms should pick and choose what they think is going to hold their children’s interest. Either way, she’s always worth looking at.