Daniel Finds a Poem

illus. by Micha Archer. 32p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Feb. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399169137.
Gr 1–3—Daniel, a curious boy with dark curly hair and wide wondering eyes, discovers the meaning of poetry in this enchanting picture book. On Monday, he notices a sign advertising an event called Poetry in the Park. He wonders, "What is poetry?" His friend Spider informs Daniel that poetry is "when morning dew glistens." Proceeding chronologically through the days of the week, Daniel asks a different denizen of the park the same question and receives a new answer every time. To the wild creatures who live in the park, poetry is everything from "when crisp leaves crunch" to "singing at twilight." Finally, on Sunday, Daniel realizes that all of the responses he received are correct. He will find poetry around every corner within the boundaries of the beautiful park. Archer's atmospheric and evocative collage illustrations enhance the sense of peace and contentment shared by Daniel and his animal friends. The final picture, in which the boy sits quietly contemplating a kaleidoscope of colors splashed across the mirrorlike water, reveals what poetry is for him: "the sunset sky reflecting in the pond."
VERDICT Readers who revel in the everyday small miracles in nature will identify with Daniel and appreciate this lyrical story.

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