Friday, November 09, 2007

Poetry Friday Review: Shape Me A Rhyme

Poetry and Nature go together like espresso and biscotti, like John and Paul, like tomatoes and garlic. Jane Yolen and Jason Stemple explore the symmetry of nature and verse in their lovely new picture book Shape Me A Rhyme: Natures Form in Poetry.

Shape Me A Rhyme
works on two levels. Yolen's straightforward, beautiful verse and Stemple's bold, bright photography make Shape Me A Rhyme perfect for reading aloud to a very young child. Its creative approach to shapes and poetry means this book would work equally well as part of a grade school unit on shapes, nature, or poetry.

Each two-page spread in Shape Me A Rhyme is devoted to one shape. Yolen and Stemple cover the circle, triangle, coil, star, square, heart, arch, wave, oval, fan, rectangle, and crescent in their exploration of shapes in nature. Yolen's subtle humor is present throughout, as in this poem devoted to the square:

A shadow square
Upon a frond
Resides beside
A quiet pond.

Since nature rarely
Seeds a square,
We must make do
With what is there.

How cleanly these lines read, comprising in their sound and meaning the stoic square.

Accompanying Stemple's dynamic photos and Yolen's verse are related words in different fonts scattered about the page. The square, for example, is accented with "block," "tetragon," "quadrate," and "quadrangle."

Read Shape Me A Rhyme to a child today. There's much to discuss--from poetry to natural forms--in its pages.
Other blog reviews:

5 Minutes for Mom
Cloudscome is hosting at A Wrung Sponge today. Check out her Found Poetry experiment. I'm going to try this at the rink tomorrow and I'll report back over the weekend.