I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t interested in animals. I can recall lying on my stomach and watching ants for hours while a garden party was going on around me. I had pet snails and beetles, tadpoles, and worms. I was over the moon when my aunt gave me a pet turtle, and devastated when the poor little thing had an unfortunate accident. The wonderful thing about animals is that they can be found just about anywhere, no matter where you live. Today’s wonderful poetry title introduces us to some of the creatures found in cities and towns.
Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife
Sarah Grace Tuttle
Illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Eerdmans, 2018, 978-0-8028-5459-9
If you live in a city or town you may think that your environment is devoid of nature but you would be wrong. There are animals and plants of all kinds living around you, and all you have to do to see them is a stop and look; listen, watch, and wait.
In our homes there are busy little mice. If you are up late at night when all is quiet you might see a mother mouse running to and fro as she rips paper and scurries to her home only to return to get some more. She is building a nest for the babies that will probably soon be born.
Outside, on a rainy day, you might spy sparrows huddled together. There they “chitter-cheep softly” while they wait for the rain to slow down and eventually cease altogether. The rain brings forth wonderful surprises too. Under a tree you might see a fairy ring of mushrooms grow. They appear seemingly overnight, a circle of delicate little pale cream umbrellas among the grass.
By a fountain you might see some pigeons dipping, strutting, and cooing. The males flaunt their courtship dance, hoping that their performance will impress the watching female. In the park pond, ducks tip up, their tails in their air, their bills eagerly seeking food under the water. Busily they search until up they pop happily eating.
On a warm summer night, beneath the glow of a street lamp, moths congregate. They flitter this way and that and then, out of nowhere, a bat swoops in and snatches one of the insects out of the air.
In this wonderful book, multimedia illustrations are paired with delightful poems to show young readers that urban environments are full of wild plants and animals. The author and illustrator take us through the seasons so that we get a full and rich picture of nature’s annual cycle, and we get to meet all kinds of wonderful living things on the pages.