A Year of Nature Poems

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Pub Date 8 Jan 2019 | Archive Date 7 Mar 2019

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From Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho comes a beautiful anthology of monthly nature poems which encourage a love for the natural world and the importance of looking after it. 

See how animals behave through the seasons, and the cycle of trees and plants, from the first blossoms of spring through to the stark winter wonderland in December. Twelve inspiring poems from Joseph Coelho, one for each month of the year, paired with folk art from Kelly Louise Judd give this book year-round appeal. A beautiful book for your bookshelf, to spark an idea for your own poem, or to teach a love for nature and to help children foster a love for the natural world. 

'Heart-flutteringly lovely and powerful' - Book Trust

'In the classroom, this book could be used as a reference for writers to create their own season poems; play with the language of the original poems or pair their own personal memories with the weather or changing seasons.' - North Somerset Teachers Book Award

'This will appeal to all ages and never date...' - LoveReading4Kids

With stunning illustrations, this true celebration of the world we live in is a treasure for you and your child to share.
From Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho comes a beautiful anthology of monthly nature poems which encourage a love for the natural world and the importance of looking after it. 


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781786035837
PRICE US$16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 21 members

Featured Reviews

I read this as I thought it would be a perfect introduction to poetry for my daughter (5yrs), however, I feel that the poems were a little old for her to really appreciate. She did enjoy the introductions to each poem/month though. For me, I really enjoyed the poems; March, April, July and December being my favourite. I love the throwbacks to the author's own memories and how they are tied with a particular month. The writing is exemplary, evocative and just thought-provoking. The introductions to each poem/month tie in to the environmental changes that have occurred since the author's childhood and I like this; makes the poems more personal and relatable. Finally, the illustrations are phenomenal - me and my daughter sat and looked through all the pictures before we read the book and we truly thought they were beautiful; really invited us in to read the book.

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The illustrations are just beautiful in this book and perfectly capture the heart of each month. In many of the poems themselves, the vivid imagery only worked hand-in-hand with the illustrations to re-create familiar and treasured scenes. The late summer through December months were my favorite lines.

“The grey of cold teases
to explode into something worthwhile,
into a dream of cold,
a starlight shower you can taste,
a cold that does not chill.

I've lost my memory
of my first snow--
did I gasp at a field of white?
Or scream at the freeze
until my cheeks reddened?

The crunch underfoot is satisfying
and the thrill of virgin snow
near leaves.

The exaltation of being
first to leave footprints
on a place often trod.” –from “December”

Some quibbles I might have with the writing is how the author would occasionally take a very particular childhood memory with specific details about his family or location to write about, which jarred me a bit. I was confused who the target audience for this book because, for much of the poetry, an older audience would probably best understand and relate with, but the introduction to each month’s poem started with some science or seasonal fact which seems directed to younger children.

3.75 stars

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The lovely illustrations will draw you to the book. While younger children may not understand the poems, parents and older children will enjoy and appreciate them.

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Absolutely stunning illustrations and a pleasure to read, even for the youngest readers. A great book to add to a nature lovers collection.

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This is an exquisite book. Wonderful illustrations and beautiful poems. I will be buying a hard copy as soon as it is published.

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A Year of Nature Poems may be compact, but it is a definite treasure for you and your child to share.

Each page has a poem with a short introduction that provides information about the subject of the poem. For instance, February’s poem is about frogs and the introduction gives a brief discussion of how the environment is changing and amphibians are decreasing in number. March is about the different types of daffodils, which the list poem cleverly describes. Likewise, the July poem is about a visit to the sea and the narrator being stung by jellyfish and how a changing climate may be increasing their numbers. While the introductions are intended to teach, they are not preachy, just informative.

"The leaves were piled

bonfire high –

whizzing russets, shooting oranges, exploding yellows

that she scooped

in armfuls

and cascaded over me

in a dry-leaf firework display

of love"


The poems are beautifully written, many reading as lovely stories, perfect for children eight and older who are curious about nature.

The artwork is stunning and perfectly compliments the poetry.

This would be an unforgettable gift for a parent and child to share.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Stunning illustrations and beautifully laid out, this book is ideal for younger readers. The poems are well chosen and a great introduction to both poetry and nature.

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A Year of Nature Poems by Joseph Coelho was illustrated by the fantastic Kelly Louise Judd and there were honest points that I had to remind myself there was text on the page. The petite vignettes of time and season that Joseph rolled out were gorgeously accompanied by Kelly’s work. Each piece starts with a tiny back story, nothing more than a couple sentences, but it gets you in the mood of the month so that it’s a bit easier to take it on. Then, as your eyes skim the illustrations, you begin to read the short poems and feel temporarily transported to that month. My particular favourite was December because it really did make me sit back and try to to remember my first snow. It was all very well thought out!

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3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. The illustrations are lovely. The poems aren't bad, but I'm not sure what audience they're aimed at- some of the vocabulary used seems a little much for younger kids, and even older ones might have trouble. Not a bad book, but I didn't like it as much as I'd hoped.

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Twelve lovely poems with matching vivid illustrations will make readers of this book yearn for more. These poems capture the beautiful moments that happen every month in nature that, either your young or old, should be experienced and cherished. This book is more appropriate for middle-grade readers because they will appreciate and will comprehend easily the poems.

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This is a gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve nature poems, one for each month of the year. A short introduction to each poem gives some brief background information on the subject of the poems. The poems are a mix of themes: some are odes to seasons, plants, or animals, while some are more personal poems about experiences from the author's childhood, such as digging a pond and picking fruit. I thought the strongest aspect of this collection was the illustrations, actually - they're like a peek into an artist's nature journal, and they frame the poems beautifully.

While this was a nice collection of various nature poems, a few things kept me from really loving this...

#1: Poetry is a really subjective thing, I have found, and what some people love, others do not. I'll admit I didn't love the poetry, but I'm quickly adding that that is my own personal opinion and I'm sure that will not be the case for many other readers!

#2: I'm a little confused on the intended audience. It was listed under "children's nonfiction" on NetGalley, and it technically is a picture book, but Barnes & Noble has it listed for middle grade readers ages 8-12, which I think is more accurate. I found the poems too complicated and wordy to be intended as a read-aloud picture book to younger readers; I think they'd enjoy looking at the pictures, but the poems would probably go right over most of their heads. However, for middle grade readers who have probably started reading and evaluating poetry in school, I think the poems would be just right, especially for those who are particularly interested in poetry or nature - perhaps even better if read with a parent or other caring adult who could help them with certain words or concepts they might not be familiar with.

#3: I wish the words about how nature has been negatively affected by humans had been accompanied by some words about how we can help. There are a few poems that mention issues such as habitat destruction, climate change, and humans' effect on population numbers. For example, in the image I posted above, the introduction to the poem states, "The number of amphibians are in decline, they have suffered from an increase in disease and a lack of habitat as we build and bulldoze." The poem talks about how the author used to collect tadpoles and watch them grown, but now it's "too dangerous" to do that because there aren't many frogs left and their habitats are disappearing. ... Ok, and?? Here's a perfect chance to introduce young readers to conservation, and the idea that they can make a difference! What about asking their parents/caregivers to help them add a frog-friendly space to their yard? It could be as complex as building a pond to as easy as making hiding places like a small garden or a toad abode. What about helping to conserve water where frogs and other animals make their homes by turning off the faucet in between brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, or collecting rainwater to use for watering your plants instead of using the hose? What about checking out books from the library to learn more about how to help protect frogs and their habitats, or finding websites like this one from the National Wildlife Federation blog? There are so many ideas! It would have been so easy to add a few lines or bullet points with brief ideas for actions at the end of a poem, or add some back matter with more resources.

Those 3 things being said, I still did like it, I just didn't love it like I expected to love a collection of nature poems with that gorgeous cover to go with it. For the right audience (in my opinion, a reader in the "middle grade" range rather than younger picture book readers, who is interested in poetry and the environment), I think this would be a hit.

Final verdict: I liked it! I thought this book was good! I enjoyed reading it and I would probably recommend it to others.

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I'm not sure children will understand all of the poems, but this is a perfect gem of a way to teach them about poetry and nature at the same time. A lovely book.

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Some gorgeous poems abut nature. I really enjoyed reading this is small chunks, picking it up and reading a few poem and then coming back to it at a later date.

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2019; Quarto Publishing Group - Wide Eyed Editions
(Review Not on Blog)

This is a cute little book with a poem for each month (two pages long each) with pretty landscape painting around it.

***I received an eARC from NETGALLEY***

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lovely poems with different month's themes . Some of them were the inspiration for my paintings . i thoroughly enjoyed the book .

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This is a delightful book for young readers. The illustrations are lovely. My daughters loved this book and we highly recommend it.

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