A Songbird Dreams of Singing: Poems About Sleeping Animals

Running Pr. Nov. 2019. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780762467143.
PreS-Gr 3–Each spread in this book has an illustration of an animal sleeping in its natural habitat accompanied by a short paragraph listing resting habits and specific characteristics. On the opposite page, a poem further explains these characteristics. The animals include a wide variety of birds, mammals, fish, and others. Readers learn why sloths sleep up to 16 hours a day and why they move slowly. Dogfish sharks never stop moving, even while at rest. Much of the information is repeated in the author’s note, the individual animal highlights, and the glossary. The poems do not offer new knowledge or a unique perspective on each animal. The rhyming stanzas repeat the same facts mentioned in the paragraph under the illustration. Although these poems use the well-known rhyming scheme of ABAB, many of the verses are flat and unemotional. On the other hand, the illustrations are lovely, soft, and fairly realistic. The combination of poems and illustrations might offer creative writing opportunities in a classroom.
VERDICT The repetitious nature of the information and the flat poetry weaken the overall strength of this collection.

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