Saturday, April 6, 2013

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 poems with photographs that squeak, soar, and roar!

Edited by J. Patrick Lewis, U.S. Children's Poet Laureate. 185 p. National Geographic Society, September, 2012. 9781426310096. (Purchased)

This hefty volume is simply gorgeous and an absolute must-have. I bought this for my school library and I suspected that I would be getting one for my home as well when I ordered it. I hoped that I would be satisfied having read my school's copy, but there's no reading this just once. Nope. I want one for home.

The 200 poems are divided into 9 sections, an introductory, "Welcome to the World," "the big one," "the little ones," "the winged ones," etc. Not exactly the classification that my fifth graders are learning, eh? Sometimes there's just one poem on a page, sometimes more. Some animals seem to inspire several poems. Horses, I can see with four poems. They are magnificent, awe-inspring animals. Pigs? Who knew they inspired four poets as well?

The photographs are spectacular and plentiful, sometimes single-page spread, sometimes double and occasionally 3/4. Each one brings the reader pretty up close and personal with the subject in full color. I will admit to paying a bit more attention to the photos, than the poems. This is not a book to rush through.

The last section, aptly named, "Final Thought," requests the reader's promise to respect the planet and work to preserve it. This is followed by two pages about writing poetry: forms and suggestions. A selected bibliography, title index, poet index, first line index, and subject index is followed by text credits and photo credits.

Lovely, lovely.

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