Bow-Tie Pasta: Acrostic Poems

illus. by Andy Rowland. 32p. (Poetry Adventures). ebook available. further reading. websites. Millbrook. Nov. 2015. Tr $26.65. ISBN 9781467720465; pap. $6.95. ISBN 9781467781077.
Gr 3–5—Cleary's latest poetry title provides an excellent entry point for budding poets. The collection kicks off with "What Is an Acrostic?," a succinct overview of the poetic form accompanied by tips on how to get started writing. The subjects of Cleary's poems run the gamut from the titular bow-tie pasta to Kansas to pirates to lacrosse. Though the topics are straightforward, the selections themselves are often playfully sophisticated and witty. In "Jokes," Joe, an elephant, marries Olivia, a catfish, who soon thereafter gives birth to swimming trunks. Both the text and Rowland's illustrations are light and silly, perfect for young poets. Back matter lists books and websites where aspiring bards can find inspiration, writing tips, and further practice.
VERDICT An extremely useful tool for teachers or librarians looking to breathe life into a poetry unit.

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