Song of the Water Boatman & Other Pond Poems

Here hang the algae, green and small,

in the depths of the summer pond.

Here floats the flea, waving antennae,

that eats the algae, green and small,

in the depths of the summer pond.

From spring’s first thaw to autumn’s chill, the world of the pond is teeming with life, and full of surprises. Peepers and painted turtles, duckweed and diving beetles all lead secret and fascinating lives. This unique blend of whimsy, science, poetry, and hand-colored woodcuts invites us to take a closer look at our hidden ponds and wetlands. 

Joyce reads a poem Reader's Guide  

Awards and Honors

Caldecott Honor Book

Lee Bennet Hopkins Poetry Award

Horn Book Fanfare

Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book

Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year

Kirkus Best Book of the Year

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Booklist Editors' Choice

NCTE Notable Book in Language Arts

NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book

New York Public Library's "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing


*Booklist (starred review)

"In this strikingly illustrated collection, science facts combine with vivid poems about pond life through the seasons . . . accessible and sophisticated . . . poems burst with sweet, joyful noise.  [An] elegant, inspired volume, which teachers will use across the curriculum."


*Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"This remarkable collection of Sidman's (The World According to Dog) poems about the flora and fauna found in wetland areas also occasions the book debut for naturalist and printmaker Prange, whose artwork recalls the grace and narrative finesse of Mary Azarian . . . with its unique combination of fact and fancy, this book is bound to delight pint-sized scientists and environmentalists--and language lovers, too."


*Kirkus (starred review)

"Readers will come away feeling as if they, too, have been pond dwellers for a season."


*School Library Journal (starred review)

"An organic union of poetry and science, this book encourages readers to ponder the minutiae and magnificent life of the natural world."


*Bulletin (starred review)

"Throughout, soundplay is employed with delicate exuberance, making these tasty verses for reading aloud as well as alone, and the generously scattered imagery is telling and inventive."


Horn Book

" . . . with a humor born of skillful observation and light and color worthy of the Impressionists, [Sidman and Prange] capture the essence of this environment in all its fascinating particularity."


Boston Globe

"By the deft use of evocative language, image, and verse form itself, Sidman renders each creature in a poem that expresses [its] very spirit."


New York Times

"Rewarding and handsomely designed."


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