Leaf by Leaf: Autumn Poems

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Perhaps more suitable for the coffee table than as a poetry book for children, this visually impressive collection has a striking cover with glittering, bronze letters, and contains dazzling photographs. Whether newcomer Tauss uses black and white, sepia or color film, the results are spectacular. Sunlight transforms the spattered rain and dirt on a window into gold dust swept away by "The Window Washer" (by Charles Simic). A multicolored prism of light envelops a young man lifting a golden ball to the sky (Gerard Manley Hopkins's "The Alchemist in the City"). The poems, on the other hand, seem to pale in comparison, not because of the skill of the excellent poets included, but because 17 of the 25 verses are snippets taken from longer poems. For instance, while the fragmented stanza from Shelley's "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" is metaphorically interesting, when taken out of context, it is less potent. As if secondary to the visual images, the poem fragments are superimposed directly on top of the photographs, often making the text difficult to read. The book's melancholy tone, its linguistically challenging syntax and its exploration of old age and endings, will likely be of more interest to adults than to children. Ages 7-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Each photograph contained in this book of autumn poems seeks to capture the essence of the accompanying poem and the result is not just beautiful but intriguing as well. Several of the pictures portray the brilliant colors of autumn¾the brown, gold and red of the leaves hanging tenuously from branches or carpeting the paths and fields. Others are muted or black and white, as is the photo illustrating "Lady in Grey" by Arnold Vermeeren. The reader is urged to look beyond the standard view of the season while yet admiring the awe-inspiring spectacle of autumn leaves. The collection of poems is excellent, offering a fairly wide range of styles including an excerpt from "come up from the fields father" by Walt Whitman and Eleanor Averitt's "November Day," which compares the trees to pheasants plucked by the wind. Robert Browning, William Ernest Henley, Gerald Manley Hopkins, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Amy Lowell are among the poets represented in the collection. 2001, Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 8 up. Reviewer:Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
Gr 3-8-Poems and excerpts of poems, many not originally intended for young readers, are introduced in this rich, eclectic collection. As in her Winter Poems (Scholastic, 1994), Rogasky encourages readers to look at the familiar through the lens of poetic vision. Her selections range in style from free verse to iambic pentameter to prose poems with internal rhyme. Poets such as William Butler Yeats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robinson Jeffers, Walt Whitman, and Amy Lowell are showcased. The book begins with Helen Hunt Jackson's "September," and progresses through the season, closing with Shirley Hughes's "Wild Weather," which anticipates the first snow. Tauss's ethereal color and black-and-white photographs capture the imagery of the verse and extend past the boundaries of the page. The sepia-hued photographs, some of which were created with handmade cameras, provide a glimpse of the world through a fish-eye lens, and present images of poetic introspection. Rogasky and Tauss have harvested the magic of the season and offer readers a bountiful feast.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
There's a marvelous sense of composition to this attractive volume: the pictures and the poetry are tightly bound together in image and evocation. The poems, mostly short excerpts, look at the season of autumn in all of its aspects, and the poets range from Robert Browning, Shelley, and Gerard Manley Hopkins to Marge Piercy, Amy Lowell, and Tzu Yeh. The language in each case is concrete and visual enough to rouse the spirit of children being read to; older children will delight in reading aloud themselves. Both will find the images in the poems made visible in the photographs. A particularly fine approach is the use of urban and rural autumnal images, and Tauss's pictures use color, sepia, and black and white with suppleness and ingenuity. Walt Whitman's excerpt from "come up from the fields father" floats over an almost Victorian image of a child with a cornucopia. William Ernest Henley's four-line excerpt "For earth and sky and air / Are golden everywhere, / And golden with a gold so suave and fine / The looking on it lifts the heart like wine" shows a beautiful old building reflected upside-down in a glass ball, the whole suffused with burnished light. Despite the occasional difficulty in reading the text over the pictures, Henley's quote could apply to these lovely images. (Poetry. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590253475
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/26/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 12.32 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2001

    This is a Beautiful Book of Photographs & Poetry!

    This lovely book has some of the most lovely photographs I have ever seen. After what NYC has been through, this is a wonderful and poetic view of autumn, with most of the pictures from New York. The selections of poetry fit beautifully. Just an exquisite book.

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