I am the cave,
So cool and dark,
Where time, unending,
Leaves its mark.

The mazes of the cave reach back, from bright to darkest dark. Step through the sunny entrance and what treasures you'll find—colonies of bats sheltering in the dim light, deep chambers decorated ...

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I am the cave,
So cool and dark,
Where time, unending,
Leaves its mark.

The mazes of the cave reach back, from bright to darkest dark. Step through the sunny entrance and what treasures you'll find—colonies of bats sheltering in the dim light, deep chambers decorated with majestic columns of crystallizes rock, and secret worlds where pale, blind creatures live by hearing, touch, and smell.

All these and more await the reader of this stunning collaboration, in which Diane Siebert's rich, evocative text and Wayne McLoughlin's luminous paintings capture the magical, mysterious underground world of caves.

Evokes the beauty, quiet, and life of caves in poetic text and illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Poetry flows from Siebert's (Mojave; Heartland) pen as she once again personifies a natural setting: "I am the cave,/ So cool and dark,/ Where time, unending, leaves its mark/ As natural forces build and hone/ A crystal world from weeping stone." Tracing the history of limestone caves from their origins as ocean beds to their many beautiful formations, such as stalactites and stalagmites, helictites and flowstone, she also observes the creatures who inhabit them. Trogloxenes such as snakes, porcupines and skunks "feed outside/ But venture in to rest, to hide," while troglophiles such as the salamander and wingless cricket "remain within where they can shun/ All hint of day, all trace of sun." Siebert conveys a sense of astonishment at the cave's many wonders, her verse as informative as it is lyrical. McLoughlin's (Here Is the Wetland) acrylics offer an impressive balance between the eerie magnetism of the cave's inner workings and the almost surreal effect of emerging from the darkness to the outside world. This volume serves as a spelunker's delight and a novice's introduction. All ages. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Information wrapped in lyrical prose is accompanied by stunning illustrations. It's the voice of the cave that speaks: "I am the cave,/And at my core/A sea once was that is no more-," explaining many of its mysteries to children. Readers are led through the formation of limestone caves in a sea-covered world over 500 million years ago, learn how the "tears" of the cave slowly form stalactites and stalacmites, and come to appreciate the rich and teeming life that depends on this environment. Siebert's vocabulary is at once challenging and understandable in context, and is accompanied by visual clues. McLoughlin's breathtaking paintings further reveal the intricate mysteries of this dark world. A quiet plea for preservation and respect for these fragile creations appears near the end: "Yet all the talents they [humans] possess/Cannot a crushed stalactite heal,/-A trail of carelessness erase./And knowing this, Man holds my fate/While I, beneath earth's surface, wait." This remarkable book will be welcomed by science, literature, and writing teachers as well as by children whose natural curiosity will fasten them to these pages.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This dramatic poem is a majestic tribute to some of the natural forces that shape our world. Though some of the specialized words and concepts are difficult, it begs to be read aloud from beginning to end: "I am the cave, / So cool and dark, / Where time, unending, leaves its mark / As natural forces build and hone / A crystal world from weeping stone." As with her other poem titles, such as Sierra (1991), Siebert combines striking images, accurate science, and a profound respect for the world we inhabit. The Liquitex acrylic paintings only occasionally rise to the magic of the text. At times they are too literal; for example, Siebert says: "I am the cave. / Long have I known / Dark silhouettes on lamp-lit stone"; the artist puts in three cave paintings and the lamp. Elsewhere, he uses colors too vivid for life-for example, the swallows appear electric blue with ruby throats, rather than the duller, steel blue and rust the Audubon guide indicates. More successful are pictures where the artist leaves more room for the imagination, the white spider in his iridescent web, or pale salamanders paddling in pale aqua waters. Despite shortcomings of the illustration, this is a book that inspires. (Poetry. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688164478
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.32 (w) x 8.79 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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