"While residing in Florida , visits to the Florida Everglades inspired the author to describe its unusual beauty in poetic form. An avid bird watcher, the author devotes several poems to the extraordinary birds that dwell in this unique ecosystem—the blue heron, the snowy egret, the cormorant, the mockingbird, the striking anhinga, and the spoonbill. Water creatures such as the manatees, alligators, turtles, and crocodiles are also depicted in several poems. What makes this poetry book unique are the beautifully designed quilts that illustrate each of the poems. The author combines her love of quilting with her love of this special haven. The result is breathtaking, and should be very inspiring to young readers who are also interested in animals and art. This book would serve well as a read-aloud for any unit of poetry. Learners of all ages will enjoy the factual notes accompanying several poems. Because of the colorful and exacting detail of each species depicted and described in poetry form, this book can be easily integrated in the science, language, and art curriculums. Librarians should recommend this to teachers looking for a book that can inspire young imaginations and creativity in their course of study. Highly Recommended, Sheila Acosta, Children's Librarian, Memorial Library, San Antonio , Texas"First published February 15, 2008 (Booklist).
Through exuberant poems and quilted illustrations, first-time author and illustrator Van Wassenhove offers an unusual tour of the delicate Everglades habitat. The first poem’s strong concluding plea (“Maybe nature lasts forever, but there’s no guarantee”) clearly communicates the book’s intent. But it is the entries’ delight in the natural world, which attains lightly spiritual dimensions in two poems, that is most effective at driving home nature’s valuable diversity. The best entries . . . need no commentary, as in this vivid verse: “The Florida Keys / grow canopies / of mangrove trees / for manatees.” Van Wassenhove’s creative application of quilting techniques to depict the rippled surfaces and shifting hues of a wetland environment will draw fascinated gazes.— Jennifer MattsonThursday, February 14, 2008, Journal Star
"The Seldom-Ever-Shady Glades" came out earlier this month and features all manner of poetry styles in comical and informative poetry. Each page is accompanied by pictures of pictorial quilts that are so striking they look like paintings at first glance. Jennifer TowerySat, Jan. 19, 2008, Miami Herald
Many artists find inspiration in the stark beauty of the Everglades and its abundant wildlife, but Sue Van Wassenhove's creative response might be unique. An avid birder, the former Florida resident wrote a series of poems about the avian residents of the River of Grass, then brought them to life in vivid patchwork quilts.
...The results are striking -- full of dimension and color, and clever uses of patterned fabric. Sue Corbett