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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good - Standard used condition book with the text inside being clean and unmarked - Exterior of the book shows moderate signs of usage
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Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night Hardcover – September 6, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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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
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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 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547152280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547152288
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 10.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly recommended for creative writing and English teachers. I wish I'd found this one several years before I retired, because it's the kind I had my students imitate as alternate research papers. It has ok poems about various night animals, plants, etc with sidebars containing factual information about each topic. Fun for kids who like poetry, animals, night, and informative nonfiction.
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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The illustrations are absolutely fabulous -- and not just immediately gratifying, there is much to discover in a close look, just as there is at night. The poems vary in style and are variable in their effectiveness for me. This is definitely NOT a collection of laugh out loud silly poems -- for that, turn to Douglas Florian who is a master in the art of converting animals to giggles. Only 1 poem has held the attention of my long attention span 2 year old, but I am betting that will change in a year or two. She is happy to look at & talk about the pictures. I think this would be a great for the early elementary set. Note that one page has a very large image of a spider and several pages have spiders in the background -- it's not for arachnophobes!
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