An Earth Day Poem: Cool Critters

In honor of Earth Day, I have decided to share a poem that I wrote many years ago. It is a clear reflection of my early wonder and awe at the diversity of life. My brother Dan, who plays in a well-known Denver band called Dogs in the Yard transformed the poem into a song, which can be heard on the kid’s page of my website. I play it at author visits too. It’s actually turned into somewhat of an elementary school hit!

Cool Critters

Our planet has so many faces,

living in the most amazing places:

jungles, prairies, deserts dry,

oceans deep, mountains high.


There are hogs and frogs and prairie dogs,

bugs and slugs with funny mugs,

rats and bats and little meerkats,

wallabies and manatees.

Cool critters.

Beauties, and beasts, and itty-bitty twitters.

They’re down in the holes, they’re under the ice,

the seals and salmon, the moles and the mice. 

Everybody loves cool critters.


Our earth is home to many creatures.

Each one has its own features:

scales, feathers, fur or quills,

tails, talons, fins or bills.

They flutter, jump, swim or walk,

and with each other they can talk,

with whistles, chirps, howls or brays

clicks or hoots or roars or nays.  


There are hawks and fox and river crocs,

slimy snails and humpback whales,

white rhinos and buffalos,

cockatoos and kangaroos. 

And if you take the time to look,

on a hill or in a nook.

Who knows what you might come across,..

a spider or an albatross?

An albatross?!?


Don’t forget the flying moths, and two-toes sloths,

small aardvarks, great white sharks,

elephant seals and moray eels.

And everyone’s looking for their meals. 

Cool critters.

In herds, and packs, and pods, and litters.

They’re under the seas, they’re high in the skies,

the birds and the bees, the fish and the flies.

Everybody loves cool critters.


-Brooke Bessesen, circa 1995

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