African Acrostics

Overview

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...

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Noyes, Deborah Somerville, Mass 2009 Hardcover First printing New in new jacket A Word in Edgeways. 40 pp. 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). Full color. Read more Show Less

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marcie Flinchum Atkins
Acrostic poetry does not just have to be a word written vertically that starts each line of a poem. Harley treats the poetry reader to a multitude of different types of acrostics about African animals in this book. Each page contains a full-color photograph of an animal in its habitat and a lively acrostic that tells about this animal. It is not just a list of facts, but word play that recreates these animals in ways that facts cannot. The traditional acrostic, double acrostic, cross acrostic, and multiple acrostic are all forms that are used in this book. Young readers will enjoy the up close and personal relationship to the animals, and older readers can delve into the techniques that the poet cleverly used. This book would be an excellent addition to any poetry unit, especially one that addresses acrostics and could also be enjoyed by children who love to read about animals one might see on a safari. Reviewer: Marcie Flinchum Atkins
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8

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

Kirkus Reviews
Acrostic poems inventively highlight the animals of Africa. While some of the acrostics simply spell the name of the animals, others expand the topic of the poem-the rhino's poem spells out "beauty in the beast," while the giraffe's declares them "cloud friends." Harley keeps things interesting by varying the seriousness of the poems and the rhythm and rhyme schemes. Backmatter includes more about acrostics as a poetic form and short paragraphs of information about each of the featured animals. Noyes's photographs perfectly encapsulate the poems, the two creating a harmonious whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The kudu, his poem asking how one greets this animal, is shown in close-up, his head tilted as if waiting for an introduction. The fatherly advice of the ostrich is delivered with a straight face, long-lashed eyes looking readers right in the eye. This belongs in every collection-for the poetry, for the photographs, for the information. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763636210
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 7/14/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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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