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Swing Around the Sun: Poems

by Barbara Juster Esbensen
Illustrated by Cheng-Khee Chee, Janice Lee Porter, Mary GrandPrJ, and Stephen Gammell

Published by Carolrhoda, 2003
48 pages
ISBN: 0-87614-143-2

Ages 5 - 10

Originally published in 1965, Swing around the Sun was Barbara Juster Esbensen's first book, and has been out of print for some years. It's wonderful to see this collection of Esbensen's fresh, lively poems set across the seasons reissued and newly illustrated. Esbensen, who died in 1996, was a highly regarded poet for children. This early work of the author has playful, captivating observations about nature and seasonal activities. "Yesterday, / it was not there, / This pointed flavor / in the air….But now there is / A different feel:/ The silver sky / has rims of steel" she writes of the pending first snowfall in "Prediction." "Threads of rain / bind earth to sky," she notes in "Storm." And in "The Return," she observes the first sign's of spring: "Bound with silence, / Chained with ice / Frozen, muffled, deep, / The world begins / To move again, / Stirring from its sleep." Esbensen does not romanticize nature. She simply describes what she sees with images that are accessible and alive. Divided into four seasonal sections, each illustrated in its own distinctive style by one of four contributing artists, this collection invites children to look upon the natural world with eyes and ears attuned for new ways of describing what they experience. (MS; March 31) ©2003 Cooperative Children's Book Center

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