For those, like me, who like a little science with their poetry, and gorgeous language besides, here is a perfect new poetry book for you. IN THE SEA, by David Elliott and Holly Meade, is a collection of 25 poems about sea creatures- seahorses, coral, blue whales, octopus, sharks, puffer fish, moray eel, mackerel, starfish, herring, sea turtles and more. The poems are short- most are between four and ten lines, but they are filled with terrific information.
"The Sea Turtle"
Swims the seven seas
for thirty years
then finds the beach
where she was born--
by magic it appears.
How can she know to come upon
that far and sandy place?
Rare instrument of nature,
fair compass in a carapace?
And in case you didn't notice, Elliott also fills his poems with gorgeous, gorgeous words for kids to wrap their mouths and brains around. Take a look at this poem…
Other words you will find in these poems include apparition, briny, jester, cunning, and belligerent."The Moray Eel"
A sword without its sheath
a dragon in its cave.
And Holly Meade's woodcut print/watercolor (I think?) illustrations are absolutely gorgeous-- beautiful combinations of tans and aquas and blues and greens and golds, and sweeping lines that capture the movement of the sea perfectly. I want to share this book with the art teacher at my school, because I think she would love using it with kids.
I could see lots of uses for this book. I might just put it in a poetry basket, or an ocean basket, for kids to enjoy. I might use the poems as mentor texts in a multi-genre unit- I could see studying Elliott's work, then writing our own poems embedding facts about animals we were studying (for people who are interested in doing that, Elliott has also written two companion volumes- ON THE FARM and IN THE WILD). I might have kids study Meade's illustrations, then try something similar. I might also use this book when I was talking with writers about word choice.
For teachers who like a little science with their poetry, this book is a perfect choice!