Reviews for Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More! : Poems for Two Voices

Booklist Reviews 2013 January #1
Gerber's 18 poems for two voices address the flora and fauna found in many backyard gardens. "Pansy and Poppy" commiserate about their heavy, soon-to-be-exploding seedpods; a bumblebee and a honeybee compliment each other on their differences; two caterpillars celebrate their favorite food, milkweed; and two green leaves complain about the icky, sticky trails deposited on them by snails. Yelchin's colorful graphite-and-gouache artwork depicts sunny, upbeat scenes that sometimes belie the naturalistic content of the poems: a placid bunny patiently awaits a "New Shoot" and then devours it in one bite, and an attractive red cluster of "Bye, Bye, Berries" realize their seeds are destined for dispersal in bird doo. Although some of the meter feels forced ("Let's get out of these coats. / I'm not ready. Please wait! / It's easy. I'll show you. / Watch me germinate"), the science is solid and the dual voicing makes these poems ideal for classroom performances. Pair with Joyce Sidman's Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow (2006) or Helen Frost's Step Gently Out (2012). Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
With each poem featuring two distinct voices, Gerber subtly creates informative conversations between flowers, seeds, roots, bees, and other living things in this playful poetry book. Yelchin's graphite and gouache art, full of cool greens and electric yellows that pulsate off the pages, effectively captures the movement of the subject matter. A final page sums up the science behind the chatter.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 January #1
Eighteen poems designed to be read aloud present the world of growing things in paired first-person voices. Ideal for classroom use, this collection of short performance pieces introduces seed distribution, plant germination, the roles of roots and sunlight, pollinators and some familiar creatures. Working this plant world are two kinds of bees, worms, snails, ladybugs and, of course, monarch butterflies--as caterpillars munching milkweed, in chrysalises and emerging to fly. With short lines, judicious use of rhyme and some interesting language, the poetry works well. "Let's get out of these coats. / I'm not ready. Please wait! / It's easy. I'll show you. / Watch me germinate." The personification of each subject will appeal to young readers, and the voices are distinguished by spacing on the page as well as by color. For the most part, each double-page spread contains a single poem, illustrated with Yelchin's bright graphite-and-gouache paintings, which take full advantage of the author's colorful subjects. There are indoor and outdoor scenes: One child blows a dandelion seed; two others observe seedlings. Other animals appear, too: birds, a dog, a hungry rabbit and a curious vole. Connections are everywhere. On a final page, Gerber summarizes the processes introduced in her poems. A pleasing introduction to plant biology with cross-curricular appeal. (Informational poetry. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 January #4

Yelchin's cheerful gouache illustrations call to mind sidewalk chalk art in this collection of nature- and spring-themed poems designed to be recited by two readers. The poems' alternating parts are differentiated by color, with multicolored phrases intended to be read in unison. Gerber's poems are casually conversational ("It's springtime!/ Will you be up soon?/ I feel sure you'll be cute," a hungry rabbit urges a green sprout), while she sneaks in a surprising amount of information about flowers, berries, bugs, and more, as well as topics including germination and pollination. The airy poems are pleasing, but maybe not perennial. Ages 4-up. Author's agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 January

Gr 2-5--In the spirit of Paul Fleischman's Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices (HarperCollins, 1987), Gerber presents 18 poems with lines to be read aloud. The form allows readers to create energetic dialogues between the different animals, plants, and bugs featured in the verses. In an easy, kid-friendly fashion, the author explores relationships in nature and in the hidden intricacies of the world's ecological systems with poems about pollination, the purpose of roots, how bees collect nectar, and more. Most of the entries are whimsical, such as, "But our seeds will travel in the birds/and be dropped off in their doo" ("Bye, Bye, Berries"). End matter consists of a brief overview in prose of the concepts touched upon. Yelchin's bright, graphite and gouache illustrations are almost impressionistic; they catch the eye and complement the text well. This collection will educate youngsters while showing them a fun way to read poetry.--Rita Meade, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

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