|In the woods|
Author: Elliott, David
Looks at woodland animals in a collection of verses for budding naturalists.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/20)
School Library Journal (04/01/20)
Booklist (+) (03/01/20)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2020 *Starred Review* In his poetic picture book In the Past (2018), Elliott explored the early days of the world through the eyes of the dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. In this companion volume, he uses the same conceit to illustrate the daily lives of creatures that live in a (presumably North American) forest. Each poem is dedicated to—and titled for—a specific animal, and the book spans all four seasons; in the first poem, a bear wakes as spring arrives (Something has whispered / to its sovereign heart), while on the final spread, a small herd of deer slip through the winter snow (Nothing left but / heart-shaped tracks. / These, too, will disappear.). Elliott employs different tones and shapes for different creatures—for example, the blocky text of the hornets' poem resembles a hive, and the words break sharply, mimicking the hornets that buzz around the page. Some poems are somber and austere, while others, like The Moose, are very brief (Ungainly, / mainly.). Dunlavey's watercolors capture the lush hues of the seasons—there's often a touch of red—and invite repeat viewings. He mimics the energy of the text in his portraits of the title animals, blending other inhabitants of the forest into the background. A double-page spread of back matter provides additional facts. There's a lot going on in these woods, and author and illustrator together manage to honor them in a truly spectacular way. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 PreS-Gr 2—Journey into the woods with Elliott's picturesque poems paired with Dunlavey's lavishly illustrated forest animals. Author and illustrator collaborate to create a gorgeous homage to the animals of the forest as they cycle through the seasons. The book opens with a bear waking from its slumber and then follows a fox, a scarlet tanager, skunks, a fisher cat, a moose, and other animals as they go through their days. Some poems are very short. Some rhyme, a few have rhythm, and some are free verse—all are filled with figurative language that brings the creatures to life. These poems are complemented by Elliott's watercolor renderings which incorporate greens, browns, and grays. Yet all scenes clearly represent the change of seasons in the forest. One animal is spotlighted on each spread. This book gently introduces some scientific vocabulary and is a good starting point for discussions about learning new words. All of the animals have short profiles on the final pages offering fun facts that may not be common knowledge (for example, fisher cats are the only North American animal that eat porcupines). VERDICT Highly recommended for elementary libraries and elementary science and language arts classrooms.—Lia Carruthers, Gill St. Bernard's School, Gladstone, NJ - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.