Sidman, says she wrote the poems as a way to explore a forest ecosystem, but also with memories of how as a child at summer camp in Maine how she had been scared of the dark.
Sidman learned of the award just before the the ALSC press conference this morning. She says she’s very excited.
“It’s unusual for a poetry book to be chosen,” she said this afternoon from her home. “And I feel really great about that, that poetry has been acknowledged, So that’s part of why I am happy because I don’t think poetry is always given its due.”
Of the honor itself she says she’ll learn more of why the Newbery judges chose her book during the award ceremony in June. Of course it will also bring great attention both to the book, and for her other collections of poems.
“It means a lot of validation for me”Sidman said. “And it means a really warm glow for a little while, until I have to sit down and keep writing. It’s not making me any better of a writer, but it’s helping with the morale I guess.”
You can get a sense of Sidman’s work, and of the Rick Allen illustrations in the book trailer below.