Ayuh to Z Challenge - A

We begin our Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge as we journey through books written by Maine authors, with a poem I've written for the title of the book (though not necessarily about the book).  Yea!
 A is for:
Drummmmm rrrrrrolllll.
(Very good drum roll!  I am very impressed.  I did not know I could play the drums.)

Animal Hide and Seek 

I remember that my English class in high school once went to Dahlov Ipcar's farm home to visit with her, learning about her illustrating and her life.  I wish now that I'd paid better attention!  She has lived in that same farmhouse since 1937.  Her parents are sculptor, William Zorach, and artist, Marguerite Zorach.  Her father, William Zorach, sculpted the fountain figure in the Patten Free Library park in Bath, Maine.

Dahlov has written and illustrated a number of books.  She has a unique illustrating style - very recognizable.  Our local, Patten Free Library has Ipcar's murals on the children's area walls.  Her work is also found in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.  Ipcar still lives and paints in the 1860s farmhouse that she shared with Adolph for nearly seventy years.

Animal Hide and Seek was her first book, though she'd done the illustrations for Margaret Wise Brown's book, The Little Fisherman, earlier.  I found this copy at the Kittery Trading Post when traveling back from Pennsylvania last week.  But it can be found in most Maine bookstores, libraries, and homes.  The deer on the cover may be seen in a mural on the Patten Free Library's wall in the children's section.

Animal Hide and Seek shows portraits of the animals on one page and then puts them in their habitat, camouflaged.

For more information:
Animal Hide and Seek on Amazon
Animal Hide and Seek on Islandport Press
Information about Dahlov Ipcar
Information about Dahlov Ipcar
This is not a commercial site.  I am not selling books.  I don't get anything if you decide to buy a book.  That's your business -
Don't even tell me if you did. 
I don't want to know. 
Just tell me if you liked the poem -
which you will find below.

Animal Hide and Seek

Moose, put on this dark, brown coat
and, Goose, these feathers gray;
Moose and Goose will not be seen
From so far away.

Please, Squirrel, stand so very still
and wear this trunk-gray shirt,
Gopher, you will look real sharp
If you blend in with dirt.

Oh, Fox, you know in any light
We'll see your coat of red,
So stay abed all day till dusk;
Come out at night instead.

Mole, I know you cannot see
But we can still see you,
So stay inside your tunnel dark -
Wear this velvet mumu.

They try to hide but always seek
Their habitat safety;
And that is why that's where I go
To find where they could be.

The squirrel's on the tree trunk
The gopher's in that hole
The fox is in her cozy den
A tunnel holds the mole.

Look behind the cedar tree
And you may spy the moose;
Look amongst the lily pads
And there you'll find the goose.

To really hide and not be found
They need to find new places;
They should go where I won't know
And not leave footprint traces.

So, Squirrel, go hide in a boot,
Gopher, wear this big hat;
Fox, climb high upon a chair
And curl up like a cat.

Big Moose, if you'd lie very still
You'll fit under the bed;
Where once there was a pillow,
Goose, sit right there instead.

Climb above the fireplace, Mole,
And sit upon the mantle
Put your paws up in the air
And hold onto this candle.

Now they will be much harder
To find at Hide and Seek;
To find them in such places
Could take me till next week.

If they don't want to do that
Camouflage will have to do
If they blend in with where they live
We wouldn't have a clue.

Now scatter off and try to hide
I'll seek you out again;
One, two, three - four and five,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten!

Ready or not, here I come
Where are you squirrel and moose?
No gopher, fox nor mole, but -
I hear the honking goose!

©Donna JT Smith, 2014

Today's post was brought to you by the letter A.


  1. I think "A" is my new favorite letter! I love it when you can connect the dots between history and the written word. The poem is primo!

    LuAnn Braley
    AJ's Hooligans @AtoZChallenge
    Back Porchervations

  2. Reading that made me think that you should to a poetry book about animals for kids.

  3. I'm looking forward to learning about Maine authors this month. You are amazing to create this poem and all the ones yet to come this month.

  4. Fantastic information and a poem too. Thanks!

  5. Shockingly, I think I've actually come across this book before. I wouldn't have remembered it without this post, but now that I see it I remember reading it! That's so bizarre. Great post and happy first day of the A to Z Challenge!

  6. Donna so very nice to meet you. I am especially looking forward to meeting poets this time around the A to Z. I love the poem that describes the hide and seek game of nature. Thanks for sharing this book as well - how wonderful to high-light "locals'
    Enjoy the A to Z month.

  7. Beautiful! I'm not a poet so poets and poems like yours are like "wow" to me! Like the other readers, I'm looking forward to learning about Maine authors. What a wonderful theme for the Challenge.
    Regards ~ Mary

  8. Just wonderful, Donna. It really cries out to be a picture book, don't you think? I love each thought about the animals, before, & after, & this "They should go where I won't know/And not leave footprint traces." Happy to watch your trail through poetry month!

  9. Truly Amazing - and delightfully whimsical. I did love sailing out of Christmas Cove, ME - although always with a wet bottom; I don't blame Maine, but the small boat.
    Great start to the Challenge.

    1. Yes, small boats = wet bottoms!
      Thanks for dropping by today! Hope you can make it back.

  10. Poetry, to paraphrase someone whose name I don't remember, reminds us to be human again. Even if it's about animals, or even more so.
    Very nicely written here. I enjoyed the post and the poem.
    Silvia @

    1. Thanks, Silvia! It's nice to meet you. Hope you can stop back!

  11. Loved the poem, Donna. I couldn't help but think of one time when I stayed with my grandkids, and they always wanted to play hide and seek before bedtime. They were usually easy to find--they were in the king-sized pillow cases on their parents' bed or in the laundry hamper. One night, though, Grandpa David helped them, and he put Mattias up on a closet shelf behind some clothes. I never did find him! Can't wait for "B."

    1. Oh, Linda, I hope you have blogged that story! I laughed out loud. I could just picture Grandpa being so clever! That was just too funny!

  12. I wish I knew an illustrator for kids books, I have several books written but undrawn. Thanks for stopping by my site.

    1. This blog hop may be just the place to connect with someone who knows. I have an illustrator, but he is a family friend who is an artist, but has not illustrated books before. If you don't self-publish but submit and get accepted by a publisher, they select one for you. Best of luck!

  13. I really enjoyed your article, and I enjoyed your poem too. I joined as follower, but for some reason it doesn't show my pictures – just that generic blue face. I'm not sure why, and I'm way too tired right now to try and fix it. I have been following blogs for the A to Z since 7 o'clock this morning, and my eyes are shot. :-) But I'm glad I stopped by to join your site before I quit for the day. Good reading.
    Deb@ debioneille.blogspot.com

    1. Thanks, Debi! You've had a long day! Maybe someday you will show up as more than a shadow of yourself! But I'm still happy to meet you.

  14. Another charming children's poem, Donna. You certainly have a gift.

    1. Thanks, Wendy! I do enjoy writing children's poems.

  15. Poem was very nice and nice it is to meet you!

  16. Moose are well camouflaged in spruce trees and willows here in Alaska, too.
    Sue Ann Bowling
    Homecoming Blog
    Stormy's Sidekick
    Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

    1. Alaska, you say! Nice to meet you!
      Yes, moose actually are pretty well camouflaged here. Easy to hit one on the road. They are nearly invisible until too late.

  17. I love the poem. Especially since it is also National Poetry Month. I can't wait to see what authors you introduce this month.



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