Come feel the cool and shadowed breeze,
come smell your way among the trees,
come touch rough bark and leathered leaves:
Welcome to the night.
Welcome to the night, where mice stir and furry moths flutter. Where snails spiral into shells as orb spiders circle in silk. Where the roots of oak trees recover and repair from their time in the light. Where the porcupette eats delicaciesraspberry leaves!and coos and sings.
Come out to the cool, night wood, and buzz and hoot and howlbut do beware of the great horned owlfor it’s wild and it’s windy way out in the woods!
"Welcome to the night!" cries the opening poem in this celebration of nocturnal life. Everything from snails to mushrooms has a role to play and something different to say (the title is taken from a concrete poem about a horned owl, narrated by its would-be prey: "Perched missile,/ almost invisible, you/ preen silent feathers,/ swivel your sleek satellite/ dish of a head"). Spiders offer advice, porcupettes pirouette, and the moon laments the dawn, all illuminated by debut talent Allen's detailed yet moody prints, which encapsulate the mysteries and magic of the midnight hours. Opposite each poem is a short note on the featured creature, explaining its appearance and habits. In Sidman's delicious poems, darkness is the norm, and there's nothing to fear but the rising sun. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)