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A Mirror to Nature: Poems About Reflection    by Jane Yolen & Jason Stemple order for
Mirror to Nature
by Jane Yolen
Order:  USA  Can
Boyds Mills Press, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

A beautiful combination of Jason Stemple's photography and Jane Yolen's verse, this picture book offers youngsters ages ten and older a series of poetic musings on nature.

The common element in the dozen poems featured here is that the animals are all photographed in or around water. Water possesses reflective qualities, creating fascinating patterns and double images that allow us to see things in new ways.

Whether a raccoon swimming with his reflective self, a group of storks whose images are doubled as they are pictured standing in a pond against a background of water grass, or a frog perched on an old, floating bottle near the shore, these color photos offer the inspiration for Yolen's poetry.

Jaws x 2 x 80 is accompanied by a shot of an alligator slipping into brackish water. The poem reads - 'Because of jaws, I stay out of the river. / One pair's a scare, the other - full shiver. / One pair is real, and one a reflection. / But I'll never give either a closer inspection.'

A deer, moorhen, snail, roseate spoonbill, cockle, redfish, snowy egret and coyote join the list of mentioned creatures who are celebrated in verse in this volume. The approach is unique and the hope is that young readers will reflect on what they discover as they read A Mirror to Nature. Perhaps this will encourage them to write their own nature poems or snap a few pictures of what they encounter when enjoying an outdoor trek.

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