Book Review - Forest Has a Song

Author:  Amy VanDerwater
Illustrator:  Robbin Gurley
Publisher:  Clarion Books (March 26, 2013)
Source:  A copy for review
Format: Hardcover
Audience: Ages 6 to 9
Keywords: Poetry, Nature, Forests

Amy VanDerwater: website | blog | twitter | facebook
Robbin Gourley: website |

Description from GoodReads:
A spider is a “never-tangling dangling spinner / knitting angles, trapping dinner.” A tree frog proposes, “Marry me. Please marry me… / Pick me now. / Make me your choice. / I’m one great frog / with one strong voice.” VanDerwater lets the denizens of the forest speak for themselves in twenty-six lighthearted, easy-to-read poems. As she observes, “Silence in Forest / never lasts long. / Melody / is everywhere / mixing in / with piney air. / Forest has a song.” The graceful, appealing watercolor illustrations perfectly suit these charming poems that invite young readers into the woodland world at every season.

My thoughts on the book:
Over the past few years, I have grown to love children's poetry.  Initially, I wasn't a big fan of poetry in general.  However, I started to put some concerted effort into reading children's poetry and discovered that there were some wonderful books out there.  Now I look forward to discovering new books of poetry and sharing them with children.  Debut author, Amy VanDerwater's Forest Has a Song is a beautiful addition to the world of children's poetry and it arrives to us just in time for both spring and National Poetry Month.

VanDerwater explores the forest and the changing seasons with each of her 26 poems.  She has managed to capture the magical qualities of life in the forest with poems that are accessible to all readers. One of my favorite poems is entitled Moss:

Barefoot on this emerald carpet
toe-by-toe I squish across.
I softly sink in velvet green.
Oh how I wish for socks of moss.

As I read this poem, I could feel the soft, damp, coolness of the moss as my feet sank into it.  Can't you?  This is part of the brilliance of VanDerwater's writing.  She has the ability to not only make the reader understand but to also see it and feel it.

VanDerwater's poetry is complimented by Robbin Gourley's gentle artwork.  The combination makes for a beautiful book on multiple levels.  Also, don't miss out on the book trailer created by VanDerwater's husband.  It is a wonderful way to introduce readers to the book.

Forest Has a Song will make a wonderful addition to your school or classroom library, consider picking up a copy of at your local Independent Bookstore.   And happy National Poetry Month - it almost here.   

Check out the official book trailer:

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Thank you to BlueSlip Media for offering a copy of Forest Has a Song for giveaway.  Don't forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of Forest Has a Song a Rafflecopter giveaway