Photo courtesy of Joyce Sidman
Local author Joyce Sidman's latest book, Round
Eggs. Bubbles. Stones. The moon.
Wayzata-based children’s poetry writer Joyce Sidman noticed there were an awful lot of circles, ovals, and spheres occurring in nature. She thought there was something beautiful and fascinating about round shapes, and knew kids would love them as she did.
Just like that, her latest book, Round, was born.
“I’m always interested in shapes that occur over and over in nature,” Sidman says, “And round shapes often have a purpose. Eggs are sturdy and comfortable, and mushrooms and trees grow outward like that.”
The picture book is written in more poetic prose than the majority of her books, which are typically anthologies of separate poems rooted around a common theme. It’s about a little girl and her father exploring and adventuring in nature together, and finding round things along the way. At the end, Sidman offers a few pages of explanation on why circles and spheres are so common.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Sidman has lived in Minnesota for 20 years. She says the state makes both her nature-loving heart and poetry-writing mind happy: “Minnesota’s such a great place to be outside and explore.”
Songs of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, a Caldecott Honor book, was inspired by her frequent walks around the wetlands near her house. She loved the way the area’s creatures and vegetation changed through the seasons. Its poems chronicle the wetlands’ sights and sounds, from frogs singing on the first warm days of spring to the journey of a wood duckling following its mother.
Most of Sidman’s 15 published books, including Songs of the Water Boatman, are geared toward children ages 6 and older. Round is her first book for children ages 3 and up.
Meet Sidman at a Red Balloon Bookshop book launch party on March 11. There will be Round-themed crafts, treats, and readings of Round and her other shape-driven book, Swirl By Swirl. Rumor has it there will also be bubbles.
Round book launch party,10:30 a.m., March 11, Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-8320, redballoonbookshop.com