Do you have a journal? A place to make lists, sketch things, glue in a clipping or a feather or a scrap of cloth? This is a book that asks, "If not, why not?"
This extremely first-person book of poetry, prose and sketches is ostensibly about birds. But, like many books that are ostensibly about birds, it is really about being alive to the world around you. Sallie Wolf watches the birds around her house for a year, making lists of species, doing little sketches, making poems. And - I don't mean this the wrong way - Sallie Wolf, a talented artist, includes many sketches here that are not intimidatingly well-executed. Gestural, instinctive little drawings. Her poetry is also notable for its humility: grounded in the everyday, she refers to sewing machines and middle school in her imagery. Drafts are included, complete with crossed-out lines. Nothing in this book is overthought or overworked.
I adore this. If you want to show a kid that anyone can make a poem, don't ask them to read Song of Hiawatha. I shared this book with an older friend last week, a hospice patient who peacefully spends a lot of time looking out the window. She's never drawn before, and to my knowledge has never written poetry, but I took her a little stash of art supplies and a sketchbook.
Modest in size, with a design palette as muted as a winter day, with glowing accents like holly berries, this accessible little book will inspire readers to look around and listen, and to record the small events they witness.