RING OF EARTH
Illustrated by John Wallner
Harcourt Brace 1986
ISBN# 0-15-267140-4 Harcourt hardcover
Four linked poems about the seasons from the point of view of four different animals: winter is the weasel, who wears the season on his hide; spring is the spring peeper, a frog who believes he causes the season to appear by singing; summer is the dragonfly with wings like stained glass; fall is the migrating goose. I think these are the best poems I have written. Wallner’s illustrations are both accurate and allegorical, like the poems.
What reviewers have said:
- “Award-winning author Yolen offers a beautiful book of poetry that sings old songs in new ways. The challenging language, rich in metaphor and rhythm, is matched perfectly by Wallner’s stunning drawings, showing the dragonfly with its ‘veins like stained glass ribbings trapping all the sun’s light,’ and the geese flying ‘but wingtips apart, no compass, no compass but the heart.’ …It is difficult to say which is more satisfying, Wallner’s complicated designs, in which the earth and its animals are wreathed together, or Yolen’s wonderful text that reminds us ‘the Power of the World always works in circles.'” — Publishers Weekly
- “Between the covers of this brief book children will experience glorious language, gain new insight into the seasons, and pore over lush, provocative paintings. Children will study the pictures for the small and large stories they tell, as well as for signs of the four creatures in the book. The vivid imagery will give young poets some lovely models for thinking about animals in new ways. This will make a fine companion to Myra Cohn Livingston’s A Circle of Seasons (Holiday, 1982), as each helps children to feel the changing seasons in unique and beautiful ways.” — School Library Journal