Goodnight, fish

First frost is just days away now and my pond is going to sleep for the winter. The cattails are turning yellow, the frogs are silent, and the water hyacinths are dying from the cold. My three fish no longer come up to greet me when I walk by the pond to pick herbs from my garden.

As we were reorganizing the books in our library, the boys and I looked at picture books we hadn’t read in years. One of their early favorites was a collection of poems called Animal Crackers. The book couples Jane Dyer’s beautiful illustrations with traditional nursery rhymes.

In addition to the traditional nursery rhymes, there are also several original poems in the book including Eve Merriam’s Lullaby. Lullaby stood out for us because it was so different from everything else in the collection — modern and lyrical. I love the way this poem sounds when you read it aloud and so does Gearbox. One of his first words was fish and this was one of first poems he memorized. He still remembers parts of it almost 10 years later:

Lullaby by Eve Merriam

sh sh what do you wish
sh sh the windows are shuttered
sh sh a magical fish
swims out from the window and down to the river

lap lap the waters are lapping
sh sh the shore slips away
glide glide glide with the current
sh sh the shadows are deeper
sleep sleep tomorrow is sure

So I’m wishing my fish goodnight for their long winter sleep.

For more Poetry Friday, visit the fabulous Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids.

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8 Responses to Goodnight, fish

  1. Linda Baie says:

    We have snow on the ground this am! Winter is surely on its way. Thanks for sharing the book. I wonder if our school library has it. The poem is lovely, and I think I’ll read it to my granddaughter tonight-she’s coming over. Thanks Katya!

    • kczaja says:

      Snow on the ground?! Oh my.
      I’m not ready. Our chimney needs cleaning and our pellets need delivering. :-)

      Enjoy your time with your granddaughter.

  2. Oh, this is lovely. I adore Eve Merriam–this one is like a mini-meditation, calming me down:>)

  3. jama says:

    Oh, Animal Crackers! Love this book — (been a big Jane Dyer fan for years). Thanks for sharing Eve Merriam’s “Lullaby.” It’s the perfect way to usher in the winter.

  4. Tara says:

    Loved this book…now I shall have to find our family copy of it!

  5. Mary Lee says:

    Ahh, Eve Merriam. Those cheekbones. That way with words and sounds.

  6. Gorgeous lullaby, Katya. Thank you for sharing – can’t go wrong with Eve Merriam and Jane Dyer. (I’d really like to take a nap about now…). And best wishes to your fish for the winter.

  7. Joyce Ray says:

    It’s no wonder your son can still recite parts of this poem he loved as a small boy. The repetition, the delightful sounds are so appealing. Thanks for sharing.