Writer Wendell Berry is known for many things – poetry, novels, short stories, essays, his longstanding opposition to what he calls industrial agriculture, his regional depictions of Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley. Berry is not generally known as a children’s poet, although his poetry, especially his poems about the natural world, have a childlike simplicity and appeal about them.
For years, illustrator Tom Pohrt had been gathering those Berry poems that might appeal to children. Pohrt had written and illustrated numerous children’s books, including Crow and Weasel by Barry Lopez and Careless Rambles by John Clare, both selections of their writings or poems that might appeal to children. A correspondence between Pohrt and Berry began, long-time Berry book designer David Bullen joined in, and the result was Terrapin and Other Poems.