Who says words need to be concrete? This collection shapes poems in surprising and delightful ways.
Concrete poetry is a perennially popular poetic form because they are fun to look at. But by using the arrangement of the words on the page to convey the meaning of the poem, concrete or shape poems are also easy to write! From the author of the incredibly inventive Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word comes another clever collection that shows kids how to look at words and poetry in a whole new way.
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Bob Raczka has written many books about art and art history for children and several collections of children's poetry including Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word and Presidential Misadventures: Poems that Poke Fun at the Man in Charge. He lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.From School Library Journal:
Gr 3–6—At the start of this collection, Raczka notes that he likes to think of poems as "word paintings," and he demonstrates this philosophy to marvelous effect. In each of his 21 concrete poems, he groups the words in a shape that complements or emphasizes the meaning or central concept. Raczka goes even further, playfully arranging the letters in the one-word titles of his poems as well. Even the table of contents is constructed to resemble a table. The result is a fun and clever collection that is sure to inspire young poets. While short, the poems are by turns amusing and thoughtful and make excellent use of figurative language devices. A selection about the Big Dipper includes a metaphor that describes the constellation as "a vessel of stars, my brim overflowing with night." Another offering depicts a thunderstorm as "a cloud tantrum." A few layouts may test some readers, such as one about a home run in which one whole line is printed backward, but most students will enjoy the challenge. VERDICT This winning assortment should find a place in most libraries.—Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Abington School District, PA
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