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Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night Hardcover – Sep 6 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (Sept. 6 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547152280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547152288
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 27.3 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #238,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Allen's detailed yet moody prints encapsulate the mysteries and magic of the midnight hours. In Sidman's delicious poems, darkness is the norm, and there's nothing to fear but the rising sun."- Publishers Weekly , starred review

"This is a fine collection for classroom use at any time, but it'll bring extra impact to those who can find a way to share it at dusk with the lights dimmed, watching through the windows as the nocturnal ballet begins outside."- The Bulletin , starred review

"This picture book combines lyrical poetry and compelling art with science concepts."- Booklist , starred review

"The dark lines of Allen's skillful lino cut prints make the perfect accompaniment to a book of night poems, with their subtle colors allowing the reader to seek out the creatures slowly, just as one's eye becomes accustomed to finding things in the dark."- The Horn Book, starred review

"The bookmaking is beautiful with the concept of night lending itself generously to poetry. "- School Library Journal


About the Author

Newbery Honor winner Joyce Sidman is simply one of the best poets writing for children today. Her accolades include a Lee Bennet Hopkins Award, winner of the Cybil Award, Texas Bluebonnet Master List, two Caldecott Honors, winner of the Claudia Lewis Award, and many stars and notables and best of lists. For her award-winning body of work, she recently won the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. She lives in Wayzata, Minnesota. Visit

On the tip of Lake Superior at the Kenspeckle Letterpress in Duluth, Minnesota, Rick Allen creates stunning prints, pressing original linoleum cuts, curious wood engravings, eccentric broadsheets, and other printed ephemera in collaboration with his wife and creative partner, Marian Lansky, and their assistant, Janelle Miller. Visit


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9bc6b24c) out of 5 stars 27 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bc4dfa8) out of 5 stars Welcome to the Night! (2011 Newbery Honor Book) Oct. 5 2010
By Mary Kate - Published on
Format: Hardcover
When you decide to create an in-home library for your grandchildren, searching for the best books to add to it can become a great adventure - time consuming, yes, but also fun and rewarding. People start suggesting their own favorites, you find yourself making notes on booklists gleaned from dozens of sources and - most fun of all - you sometimes just sort of stumble across a book while looking for something else and it becomes a treasured addition to your collection. This book, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, falls into that last category. In this case, it was the owl on the cover that caught my eye - probably because I'd just recently seen the film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole. The owl was enough to make me take the book down from the shelf, but it was the wonderful content that had me putting Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night into my buy pile.

I loved this book on my first read through, captivated by the unexpected, but somehow perfect, mixture of poetry and science. Apparently, had I been familiar with author Joyce Sidman who has employed this combination in previous books such as Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow and Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, this combination would not have surprised me. (Both of these earlier books now reside on my Wish List.)

In her latest book, Sidman welcomes us to the night, inviting us to learn about the creatures that inhabit it and to witness the changes to ordinary things after the sun has set. Poems, composed in a variety of styles, introduce us to several night creatures - a moth, a snail and the Great Horned Owl depicted on the cover, among others. Alongside the poems are related facts told in accessible, but not simplistic or dumbed-down language. This is interesting stuff - the sort of facts kids and those reading to them will enjoy learning and will remember. I'd never heard the word porcupette (a baby porcupine) before, nor did I know that snails added a layer to their shell every night or exactly how the legs of crickets produced their chirps. Learning right along with my grandkids as I read to them added an extra layer of enjoyment to this book.

Rick Allen's detailed linoleum prints - a style I don't see with great regularity - complement verse and prose perfectly and a very helpful glossary is also included.

As my library for kids and young adults continues to grow, I hope I stumble across more treasures like this one. I'm excited about adding Sidman's earlier works to my collection - and to seeing what I'll learn from them.

Highly recommended.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb5809c) out of 5 stars A spectacular collection of nocturnal songs of plants and animals who love and inhabit the night world Nov. 10 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Dark Emperor and other Poems of the Night" is a spectacular collection of nocturnal songs of plants and animals who love and inhabit the night world. Each poem describes the habits and behaviors of a special nocturnal plant or animal in terse, imaginative poetry. On the facing page is a prose section giving further information about the subject of the poem, like an added nature study. The final embellishment consists of the layered, dark prints made by a special and tedious process of relief printing, then laboriously hand tinted. "Dark Emperor" is a spectacular work of yoked imaginations and arts that teaches while it enchants/ A glossary of terms in muted colors completes this lovely book of original verse. From a bay porcupine, called a porcupette, to a little red eft, many exotic creatures of the night inspire these poems. In closing, a quotation from the poem of the title: "O Dark Emperor/ of hooked face and/ hungry eye: turn that/ awful beak away/ from me;/ disregard/ the tiny hiccup of my heart as I flee (p. 12)." "Dark Emperor" is suitable for children ages 7 and up.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb584d4) out of 5 stars Wondrous Night Jan. 28 2011
By Catherine W. Hughes - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Eleven living species welcome the reader into the wild world of the night, from the raccoon to the bat, with a poem and a printed illustration. A poem of the moon follows. Joyce Sidman's poetry captures the beauty and the mystery of the night, inviting the reader to explore the wonders of the wood. This is a wonderful book for children ages 5-8, especially those interested in the natural world.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb58894) out of 5 stars welcome to the night Oct. 25 2012
By Michelle967 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I honestly fell in love with this book. Both the author and the illustrator did a fantastic job by collaborating the poems to the illustrations by making the poem come alive. Each poem/song features a nocturnal plant or animal that embraces through the nightlife. I love how the author went above and beyond by writing a piece next to the illustrations that explains a little bit about what animal or plant that was mentioned in the poem. This gives readers a better understanding of the poem itself. The author continues to go beyond by having the keyword in this section in bold letters. The last poem is not an animal or plant but the moon since it signifies the night. The back of the book has a glossary of key terms that could be used when understanding some of the words. I actually loved this book so much I had to buy myself a copy and return this one to the bookstore. It's a must read and can also be incorporated into the classrooms.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb58978) out of 5 stars Gorgeous, gorgeous book Dec 7 2010
By Riley - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations are absoultely spectacular. Follow the night from sunset to sunrise; find the nocturnal animals in the illustrations. So beautiful, and with a lovely poetic text.