African Acrostics: A Word in Edgewaysby Avis Harley
Inside every acrostic is a secret message, often lurking in the first letter of each line (read top to bottom). But look out! These acrostics not only follow their subjects to Africa, but they also take the form to a whole new level./b>
Look carefully! The wild animals of Africa spring to life in clever, lighthearted poems and compelling, evocative photographs.
Inside every acrostic is a secret message, often lurking in the first letter of each line (read top to bottom). But look out! These acrostics not only follow their subjects to Africa, but they also take the form to a whole new level. Here you’ll find the elusive double acrostic (in which the first and last letters of each line spell a message), the cross acrostic (in which the message is read diagonally), and the multiple acrostic (see it to believe it) — not to mention lions, zebras, crocodiles, hippos, leopards, and elephants. Oh, my! Illustrated with gorgeous full-color photographs, this collection is sure to send poetry buffs and animal lovers on an armchair safari they’ll never forget.
Harley has written 18 poems, each one featuring a different animal. All are written as acrostics, with most of them based on the first letter of each line, but several with more unusual patterns, such as a double acrostic ("Eye to Eye"); a quintuple acrostic with a five-word message ("Impalas in Peril"); and a double acrostic concrete poem ("Hornbill's Hot Day"'). Much of Harley's poetry consists of carefully crafted descriptive word imagery that is right on target: "Carnivore-supreme/Open-opportunist/Dragon-eye-agleam" (crocodile); "Leather limbs in rhythm/Evenly swaying in step/Plod slowly over Africa" (elephant). Most of the full-page, full-color photos of the animals are perfect companions to the facing selections. Noyes describes in an endnote how she snapped many of the photographs while camouflaged in blinds near small watering holes in game parks and preserves in Namibia. Two pages of "Nature Notes" offer fascinating informational tidbits about each poeticized species. Useful as an entree to writing an unusual and enjoyable type of verse, this short collection offers pleasurable reading, with a nature lesson thrown in as well.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Meet the Author
Avis Harley has written several books of poetry for children, including THE MONARCH'S PROGRESS: POEMS WITH WINGS. She lives in Vancouver.
Deborah Noyes the editor of GOTHIC!, THE RESTLESS DEAD, and SIDESHOW. A former zookeeper, she also wrote and illustrated ONE KINGDOM: OUR LIVES WITH ANIMALS. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.
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