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If You Go Down to the Woods Today
Journey through a magical woodland, with poems to read and things to find
My woodland’s full of animals, of every different kind. So shall we stay here for a while and see what we can find? Experience the everyday wonder of nature in this first book of poetry, exploring a magical woodland year. With poems by acclaimed writer Rachel Piercey, join Bear on his journey from spring to winter with lots of friends to meet, places to explore, and things to spot along the way.
By Rachel Piercey
Illustrations by Freya Hartas
“Four seasons’ worth of poetic exploration into the bustling woods. Piercey presents here 16 poems containing tightly rhymed quatrains inviting young readers to follow Bear out of the confines of their homes and into the forest from spring through winter. Arranged in double-page spreads, Hartas’ sumptuously action-packed forest scenes are rife with so much fauna and flora that Piercey provides legends pointing readers toward “what to spot” on each spread. Bear narrates: “My woodland’s full of animals, / of every different kind. / So shall we stay here for a while / and see what we can find?” (A bit distractingly, some words are set in a faux handwriting typeface.) Items to find include such delights as a “baby chipmunk in a hammock” or “two birds returning from their winter break”—delicately drawn with tiny suitcases in their claws. In each kid-styled Breughel-like tableau, creatures are busy doing something—building nests, getting ready for school, or celebrating Bunny’s birthday; even Bear’s off playing hide-and-seek with mice. In summer, some go for swimming lessons while others stage a play. Autumn’s chill starts to wind down the fun, as trees turn “orange, scarlet, gold, / each leaf a tongue of flame”—perfect for inspiring art class. In Hartas’ gifted hands, Piercey’s thriving woodland society celebrates all the joys of communing with the elements and one another. " ― Kirkus Reviews
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