The Mighty Pollinators

Candlewick. (Step Gently, Look Closely). Mar. 2024. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781536229103.
PreS-Gr 4–Frost’s poetry and Lieder’s photographs introduce pollinators and pollination, pulling readers closely into nature with quiet and intimate portraits of eight species. In her seventh collaborative work on nature with Lieder (Step Gently Out), Frost includes poems that are rhythmic, informative, and playful. Each one is paired with a photo spread across both pages, with blurred backgrounds and captivating insects covered in pollen. The first poem, “Almost Invisible,” captures how minuscule pollen seems in the world with “When you’re outside on a/ summer day,/ have you sneezed and/ wondered why?” The photograph is the inside of a flower, stigma and anthers glowing golden with pollen. Lieder’s photography is exquisite, highlighting the intricate beauty of bees, ants, wasps, flies, butterflies, bats, and fireflies, while pollen lights each page with brilliance. Coupled with Frost’s poems, which allow for acknowledged human reactions like “Cover up/ your jelly sandwich” with “Wasps,” each piece is an enlightened and joyful glimpse into the world of pollinators. Most spreads include additional inset photos shaped like honeycombs in a pleasing graphic design. Rich back matter includes further information on pollen, pollinators, observation advice, and how to help pollinators. Although aimed for younger children, this is an excellent resource for upper elementary.
VERDICT A first purchase for science and poetry collections, this is a wonderful way for young children to develop empathy through nature.

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