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Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night Hardcover – September 28, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night + Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow + Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems (Caldecott Honor Book, BCCB Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award)
Price for all three: $39.85

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547152280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547152288
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 10.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-6–Sidman continues her explorations of natural history in this set of poems about nocturnal life in the forest. As in her other collections, each selection is set in an expansive spread that includes a factual discussion of the featured subject. The illustrations are bold, richly detailed linoleum prints colored in gouache. The 12 poems are led by a scene setting “Welcome to the Night” and go on to feature 9 different creatures and some mushrooms with a concluding lament by the moon as night fades into morning. Sidman adroitly applies varied poetic forms and rhyme schemes. The title's dark emperor, the great horned owl, lends its shape to the one concrete poem, and the closing lament is in the medieval style known as an ubi sunt. The poetry is reflective and at times philosophical. “Build a frame/and stick to it,/I always say./Life's a circle….Eat your triumphs,/eat your mistakes:/that way your belly/will always be full…,” advises the night spider. Other poems are playful and some just a bit confusing. The porcupine poem explains that the infant of this species is known as a porcupette; the repeated use of “baby porcupette” seems oddly redundant. The bookmaking is beautiful with the concept of night lending itself generously to poetry. It invites lingering enjoyment for nature and poetry fans, and, as with Sidman's earlier collections, it might be used with varied curriculums.Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Like Sidman's Caldecott Honor Book, Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems (2005), this picture book combines lyrical poetry and compelling art with science concepts. Here, poems about the woods at night reveal exciting biology facts that are explained in long notes on each double-page spread. In a poem about crickets, lines describe “the raucous scrape / of wing against wing,” while a prose passage explains that the cricket's wing has a serrated “file,” which the cricket rubs against a hard “scraper” on its other wing to attract a mate, creating a sound called “stridulation” that can swell to deafening levels. The facts are further reinforced in the accompanying picture, which shows the small file on a cricket's wing. In an opening note, Allen explains his elaborate, linoleum-block printmaking technique, and each atmospheric image shows the creatures and the dense, dark forest with astonishing clarity. Looking closely at a picture of a snail, for example, readers will see the physical detail, described in an adjacent poem, in the small animals' moist, sluglike bodies, “riding on a cushion of slime.” The thrilling title poem captures the drama of predator and prey: a mouse in the undergrowth flees an owl's “hooked face and / hungry eye.” A final glossary concludes this excellent, cross-curricular title. Grades 3-6. --Hazel Rochman

More About the Author

Joyce Sidman is known for her fresh, inventive poetry for children. Her award-winning books include Dark Emperor (A Newbery Honor Book), Song of the Water Boatman and Red Sings from Treetops (both Caldecott Honor Books), Butterfly Eyes (Cybils Award), and This Is Just to Say (Claudia Lewis Poetry Award). A recent starred review in School Library Journal said, "Sidman's ear is keen, capturing many voices. Her skill as a poet accessible to young people is unmatched." Born in Connecticut, Joyce now lives in Minnesota. Visit her at www.joycesidman.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Beautiful illustration, engaging poetry.
Melba
Learning right along with my grandkids as I read to them added an extra layer of enjoyment to this book.
Mary Kate
This is a wonderful book for children ages 5-8, especially those interested in the natural world.
Catherine W. Hughes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kate on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When you decide to create an in-home library for your grandchildren, searching for the best books to add to it can become a great adventure - time consuming, yes, but also fun and rewarding. People start suggesting their own favorites, you find yourself making notes on booklists gleaned from dozens of sources and - most fun of all - you sometimes just sort of stumble across a book while looking for something else and it becomes a treasured addition to your collection. This book, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, falls into that last category. In this case, it was the owl on the cover that caught my eye - probably because I'd just recently seen the film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole. The owl was enough to make me take the book down from the shelf, but it was the wonderful content that had me putting Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night into my buy pile.

I loved this book on my first read through, captivated by the unexpected, but somehow perfect, mixture of poetry and science. Apparently, had I been familiar with author Joyce Sidman who has employed this combination in previous books such as Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow and Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, this combination would not have surprised me. (Both of these earlier books now reside on my Wish List.
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Format: Hardcover
"Dark Emperor and other Poems of the Night" is a spectacular collection of nocturnal songs of plants and animals who love and inhabit the night world. Each poem describes the habits and behaviors of a special nocturnal plant or animal in terse, imaginative poetry. On the facing page is a prose section giving further information about the subject of the poem, like an added nature study. The final embellishment consists of the layered, dark prints made by a special and tedious process of relief printing, then laboriously hand tinted. "Dark Emperor" is a spectacular work of yoked imaginations and arts that teaches while it enchants/ A glossary of terms in muted colors completes this lovely book of original verse. From a bay porcupine, called a porcupette, to a little red eft, many exotic creatures of the night inspire these poems. In closing, a quotation from the poem of the title: "O Dark Emperor/ of hooked face and/ hungry eye: turn that/ awful beak away/ from me;/ disregard/ the tiny hiccup of my heart as I flee (p. 12)." "Dark Emperor" is suitable for children ages 7 and up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Catherine W. Hughes on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Eleven living species welcome the reader into the wild world of the night, from the raccoon to the bat, with a poem and a printed illustration. A poem of the moon follows. Joyce Sidman's poetry captures the beauty and the mystery of the night, inviting the reader to explore the wonders of the wood. This is a wonderful book for children ages 5-8, especially those interested in the natural world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michelle967 on October 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I honestly fell in love with this book. Both the author and the illustrator did a fantastic job by collaborating the poems to the illustrations by making the poem come alive. Each poem/song features a nocturnal plant or animal that embraces through the nightlife. I love how the author went above and beyond by writing a piece next to the illustrations that explains a little bit about what animal or plant that was mentioned in the poem. This gives readers a better understanding of the poem itself. The author continues to go beyond by having the keyword in this section in bold letters. The last poem is not an animal or plant but the moon since it signifies the night. The back of the book has a glossary of key terms that could be used when understanding some of the words. I actually loved this book so much I had to buy myself a copy and return this one to the bookstore. It's a must read and can also be incorporated into the classrooms.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Riley on December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations are absoultely spectacular. Follow the night from sunset to sunrise; find the nocturnal animals in the illustrations. So beautiful, and with a lovely poetic text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melba on August 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful illustration, engaging poetry. My children, who are both big animal lovers, just love it. Perfect for bedtime story time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PAS on July 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave this as a gift to a seven year old. She not only loved it; she started writing her own poems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Howlett on April 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful opening to poetry for children. My sweetie and I spent many nights reading and discussing this book of poetry.
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