Book of Nature Poetry

, ed. 192p. further reading. index. photos. National Geographic. 2015. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781426320941.
RedReviewStarK-Gr 4—Compiled by former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate Lewis, this assortment of nature-themed verse is, in a word, breathtaking. The selections represent a variety of styles, time periods, countries of origin, lengths, and themes; all are set against a stunning backdrop of full-bleed photographs. Offerings are divided into sections such as "In the sky," "In the Sea," and "On the Move" and run the gamut from whimsical to informative to comical and back again. William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," Li Po's "You Ask Why," and Jack Prelutsky's "The Ways of Living Things" provide myriad entry points into exploring and celebrating the natural world. Photographs, of the superior caliber one might expect from National Geographic, are labeled with a description of the animal, plant, or location depicted. At book's end, budding poets (and their teachers) will find a list of recommended children's materials on wordplay in poetry, sorted by type (acrostics, palindromes, haiku, and more). An index, divided by poem, subject, poem first line, and poet, renders this work exceedingly useful.
VERDICT An excellent addition to any poetry collection.

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