Color Me a Rhyme: Nature Poems for Young People

Overview

What colors do you see in nature - the green of a fern, the brown of a desert, the gray of a lifeless tree? Look closer. You'll find more than meets the eye. Is that a white flower, or a star that fell in the forest? Is that an orange sunset, or a piece of fruit that's ripe for eating? Is that a blue sky, or the slate on which a bird writes? In thirteen memorable poems, Jane Yolen takes you on a whimsical journey through Mother Nature's glorious landscape. Using Jason Stemple's dazzling photographs as a backdrop,...

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Overview

What colors do you see in nature - the green of a fern, the brown of a desert, the gray of a lifeless tree? Look closer. You'll find more than meets the eye. Is that a white flower, or a star that fell in the forest? Is that an orange sunset, or a piece of fruit that's ripe for eating? Is that a blue sky, or the slate on which a bird writes? In thirteen memorable poems, Jane Yolen takes you on a whimsical journey through Mother Nature's glorious landscape. Using Jason Stemple's dazzling photographs as a backdrop, Ms. Yolen paints her own vivid pictures that are both real and imagined.

Jane Yolen is the author of more than two hundred books for young readers and adults, including Dear Mother, Dear Daughter: Poems for Young People, which she co-authored with her daughter, Heidi E. Stemple. She lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts.

Jason Stemple, a free-lance photographer, provided the photographs for Horizons, Color Me a Rhyme, Once Upon Ice, Water Music, and Snow, Snow--all poetry books for young people written by his mother, Jane Yolen. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This lovely little book of poems is all about the colors of the rainbow. The author encourages children to create their own poetry by including additional color words. Beautiful vibrant nature photographs accompany the text. 2000, Boyds Mills Press, $15.95. Ages 5 to 12. Reviewer: M. Thomas SOURCE: Parent Council Volume 8
Children's Literature
Good photos and good poems combine to make this book a primer for personal creativity. With fresh visions of nature, and sophisticated poetry, this book is designed to inspire future writers. Each poem is dedicated to a single color with one or more color photographs accompanying the text. Scattered around each page are synonyms for that color that the reader is encouraged to use in her/his own poetry. For the color red, there are two nature haiku's, a photo of a red butterfly and another photo of red berries on a branch, a literary quotation about the color red, and words in the margins in different fonts such as "brick, henna, crimson, rouge, scarlet, vermilion, ruby, cherry, and cerise." The photos are impressive because they seem to isolate one color in particular, and the poems are impressive because they do not rhyme. This book could easily be used to jump-start a creative writing project in third grade through seventh grade. 2000, Wordsong/Boyd Mills Press, $15.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Seth Berg
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Thirteen poems, each a study of a different color found in nature, accompanied by gorgeous photographs, beautifully reproduced and artfully presented. Many of the selections are quite lovely: "A star fell from the sky one night/And landed in the forest, white/Against the green of leaf and vine." A few are less effective. A passage from "Gray," for example, lacks the focus and rhythm found in the more successful poems: "Gray clouds in the skies/Are graceful memories/ And gradual lies." Overall, though, the collection is thoughtful and technically accomplished. Don't let the picture-book format fool you; the entries will probably be most appreciated by middle and high school students. The central image for each poem is crystal clear, often set against a background photo or montage that fades into mist with an elusive quality. There's a playful yet elegant mood in the way the words and pictures merge on many of the pages. This is a visual delight, allowing both author and photographer to share their obvious love for the world's natural beauty.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The ubiquitous Yolen (Sherwood, p. 806, etc.) has previously collaborated with Stemple on three books of nature poems illustrated with photographs. In this latest joint effort, Stemple (Yolen's son) first takes photographs isolating or emphasizing one color in nature and Yolen then writes poems to coordinate with the photos. Eleven colors are included, with "Crayons: A Rainbow Poem" as the final poem, gracefully melding all the colors into one lyrical homage to the infinite variety of shades in the world of nature, including the wide variety of skin colors in people around us. Each two-page spread includes one poem by Yolen, a featured photo and a related background photo, a list of additional color words in large type integrated into the design, and a fragment of poetry about the particular color from another source, often a Mother Goose rhyme. Yolen has done an excellent job of creating poetry of all sorts, from a few spare and simple lines to some more complex poems, and she has included both rhyming and non-rhyming poems as well as several haiku. Language-arts teachers will welcome this book, as writing poems about colors is a common assignment in fourth through eighth grades, and in an author's note, Yolen encourages young people to try writing their own color poems using the color word lists and photographs. The standard book of children's poetry about colors, Hailstones and Halibut Bones, by Mary O'Neill (1961, 1989), is for a slightly younger audience and doesn't have the advantage of the gorgeous photographs in this book that show nature's true colors in all their glory. A multicolored gem for the poetry shelves in most school and public libraries. (author's note)(Poetry.9-13) Abella, Alex FINAL ACTS Simon & Schuster (302 pp.) Dec. 2000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590781722
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 9/3/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 308,619
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen has received numerous awards for her writing, including the Golden Kite Award, two Christopher Medals, and both the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota and the Regina Medal for her body of work. In 2011 she was named Grand Master by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. She lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts, and St. Andrews, Scotland.

Jason Stemple is free-lance photographer who provided the photographs for A Mirror to Nature by Jane Yolen, winner of the John Burroughs Young Readers Award and for Wild Things by Jane Yolen, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award. He was recently named an Artist in Residence at the Everglades National Park in Florida. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Table of Contents

A Note from the Author 7
Green 8
Gray 11
Purple 12
Orange 15
White 16
Pink: A Haiku 19
Black 21
Yellow: A Haiku 22
Two Red Haiku 24
Brown 27
Blue 29
Crayons: A Rainbow Poem 30
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