Welcome to Poetry Friday. I’m happy to be your summer host. I’m traveling back in time today and reviewing a beautiful book I received in spring (thank you, Candlewick Press!) Helen Frost and Rick Lieder’s Hello, I’m Here tells the story a newly-hatched sandhill crane chick through a clever, first-person poem and gorgeous close-up photography.
The poems starts inside the crane’s egg, and continues through hatching, first steps, meeting a sibling, wing flapping, swimming, predator avoidance, feeding, considering flight, and resting. That’s a lot of ground for a newborn chick and a 168-word text!
The young chick’s voice carries the poem, and the amazing photography brings the story to life. Simple questions and actions in rhyming couplets let the reader imagine what it would be like to be a baby crane.
I love the child-like voice of the chick who speaks from inside the egg and tells the reader what she’s thinking and doing:
Who’s talking to me?
Is it night or day?
I start to peck,
and my shell falls away.
If you have not yet read Hello, I’m Here, I recommend it. Find yourself a pre-schooler and sit down for a snuggle or pour over the pages on your own and get inspired.
Speaking of inspiration, Today’s Little Ditty has a new challenge this month from Karen Boss, editor at Charlesbridge. Karen asked us to, “write a poem in second person, speaking directly to a kid or kids about something that you think is important for them to know.” I broadened the definition of kid and, staying under the influence of Hello, I’m Here, have written my advice poem to a sandhill crane chick:
Advice to a Young Chick
An egg will protect and nourish you. But when the time is right
peck, peck, peck and break free.
Ask for help when you need it. Loudly. Peep, peep, peep!
Try new foods—bugs and snails are delicious.
Lean on a parent’s soft feathers when you are tired.
Stretch new legs.
You will fall before you walk.
Flap new wings.
You will falter before you soar.
Someday you will take to the sky.
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