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Book Review:    A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems

 
 

Top Pick. If you are wondering what concrete poems are, simply put, they are a whole lot of inventive fun. These highly visual poems express themselves not only through their text, but also through a playful arrangement of words, spaces, and typefaces on the page. This book features 30 delightful, kid-friendly concrete poems with the added fun of illustrations by Chris Raschka for each.

Some of the poems take on the overall shape of the subject, such as the one entitled Eskimo Pie, which is shaped like the ice cream treat, and Swan and Shadow, with its text taking the form of a swan and its reflection in the water. Our favorite is one called Tennis Anyone? that requires the reader to move their head from one page to the next--back and forth--with the effect similar to that of watching a tennis game. Very clever! In another poem, entitled A Weak Poem, the lines droop to express the poem's overall weakness (from eating too much junk food and going to bed too late).

This highly original collection of visual poems will delight readers from approximately ages 8 and up. The book may inspire them to create their own--it seems to me that concrete poems may come more naturally to kids than to adults. The book is fun to share with kids--it can be revealing and stimulating to discuss the meaning behind each poem. Be aware that many kids younger than 8 may not grasp the whole concept. 

Written by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka. The book is available in a hardcover edition that retails for approximately $15.99 US.

Pros:
  • Inventive and stimulating collection of unusual poems.
  • Equally unusual and fun illustrations.
  • Encourages self-expression and creativity.

 

Cons:
  • None noted.

Back to Book Guide

Published: 2001 By: Candlewick Press Ages 8-up  
 

 

Our Rating:

A+

To Buy this book:

Buy A Poke in the I : A Collection of... at Amazon.com

 
Reviewed January 2002   Comments? Email us.
 

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