TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman, author of many award-winning books of poetry, was born and raised in Connecticut. Now a Minnesota resident, she teaches in Minneapolis schools as a writer-in-residence.  She most recently wrote Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night (2010), Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors (2010), and Red Sings from Treetops (2009), a Caldecott Honor Book.

One of Sidman’s previous books, Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow (2006), is a collection of poetry riddles about the creatures inhabiting a meadow. She explains, “Where I grew up in New England, there were a lot of forests-turning-to-meadows and meadows-turning-to-forests. My grandparents’ farm had great expanses of pastureland full of rabbits and butterflies, where deer came almost every evening to eat windfall apples. So when I decided to write about the meadow, I felt right at home. I was fascinated with how all these creatures are linked together—milkweed and monarchs, for instance—and decided to group them in twos. Then my editor suggested that, since the poems were tending that way anyway, we make them into riddle-poems. Beth Krommes added her lush illustrations, and—voilà!”

Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems (2005) was the winner of many awards, including a Caldecott Honor and a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. Sidman describes the book as “a compromise between my wish to give each pond creature an imaginative voice (the poems), and my fascination with their real-life behavior (the nonfiction notes). ”