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Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Poems about Small Things

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Editorial Reviews

Hazel Rochman
Sensuous, delicate, playful, these 50 poems reveal a universe in tiny particulars, in what D. H. Lawrence calls here the "quick little splinters of life." The book title is from the popular "Twenty Questions" guessing game, and it makes a fine three-part division of an anthology unified in theme and tone. The animals are mainly bugs and worms. The vegetables are flowers, seeds, leaves, grass. The minerals are dust specks, pebbles, the intricate parts of a watch. Some of the poems are in translation, including a few from the Navajo and Acoma Indians; some are by classical poets, including Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, and William Carlos Williams; most are by contemporary children's writers, who are represented here at their joyful best. The witty wordplay, the sound and jump of the lines, emphasize the physicalness of the things observed, the tuft of purple thorns on "thirty thirsty thistles." These small things are tough, even those that appear most frail: a spike of grass, a glowworm' gleam. If you look closely, as these poets do, you can discover the world in the "flap and rustle" of a dragonfly's wing. This is an anthology for personal browsing and for reading aloud, especially for teachers who want a rich literature-science connection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060230098
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years

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