Song of the Water Boatman & Other Pond Poems

"Listen for me on a spring night, on a wet night, on a rainy night.…Listen for me tonight, tonight, and I'll sing you to sleep." So begins Song of the Water Boatman and other Pond Poems by Joyce Sidman. Poetry forms from Haiku to sea shanties highlight the food chain of a pond, cattails in all seasons, or late fall when a painted turtle settles into the mud. Each poem is accompanied by a paragraph that provides scientific information about a specific creature, plant, or aspect of pond life. Becky Prange's woodcuts are a natural accompaniment to Sidman’s poems. My favorite is the title poem about a Water Boatman; “Down through the jolly waters green, I stroke with legs both long and lean, like a streamlined class-A submarine…on a sunny summer’s morning.” Delightful!!
For ages 6 and up.


Water Boatman are the coolest of little insects. They are so versatile. They swim around underwater on their back with oar-like paddle legs. They fly up as high as the tree tops, and they can walk around on dry ground. It is great that they have been given a certain measure of respect!