African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways
by Avis Harley
Photographs by Deborah Noyes
MA: Candlewick Press, 2009
ages 6 - 10
Finding the hidden word is a fun game, but here it brings surprises and insights into the poet's imagery and descriptions. Harley's poems are deftly written; the patterns within each poem do not make the poem stiff or awkward. The rhythm and rhyme make them perfect for reading aloud. Here is a poem about the bat-eared fox that fascinated my 3rd grader:
Wild WhispersEach poem is accompanied by a full-page color photograph that shows the featured animal, often echoing the poem's mood. Deborah Noyes, the photographer, is a former zookeeper. She also wrote and illustrated One Kingdom: Our Lives with Animals. At the end of the book, Harley provides more information about different types of acrostics that you'll want to see if you can try yourself! The following page has short paragraphs of information about each animal.
Bat-eared fox and wind
In the stalks are
Given to conversation.
As these can
Read any breeze, even
Sound out punctuation!
(c) Avis Harley
This book brings a new appreciation for poems that use words "in edgeways."
Avis Harley has written several books of poetry. I'm especially interested in The Monarch's Progress. For an insightful, fun interview with Avis Harley, see The Miss Rumphius Effect. For other fantastic poetry finds, go to today's The Miss Rumphius Effect for all the listings. Tricia has informed me that January is National Puzzle Month - so this book of acrostic poems fits in perfectly!
The review copy came from my local public library. Find a copy at your local library using WorldCat. Or purchase a copy at your local bookstore or on Amazon. If you make a purchase on Amazon through these links, a small percentage will go to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.