Whispering Room: Haunted Poems

Overview

Ghosts, goblins, witches, scary pea soup fogs, bogeymen, mysterious night noises, sprites, spirits and more -- they're all here in this anthology of terrifically terrifying poems. Wonderfully weird and eerie illustrations add to the haunted mood cast by the book's more than 50 poems. Offering a mix of contemporary and classic verse, as well as traditional rhymes, the poets include Carl Sandburg, Ted Hughes, Emily Bronte, Stevie Smith, Alfred Tennyson, Walter de la Mare and ...
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Overview

Ghosts, goblins, witches, scary pea soup fogs, bogeymen, mysterious night noises, sprites, spirits and more -- they're all here in this anthology of terrifically terrifying poems. Wonderfully weird and eerie illustrations add to the haunted mood cast by the book's more than 50 poems. Offering a mix of contemporary and classic verse, as well as traditional rhymes, the poets include Carl Sandburg, Ted Hughes, Emily Bronte, Stevie Smith, Alfred Tennyson, Walter de la Mare and William Shakespeare.

A collection of poems about the supernatural, by such authors as Tennyson, Robert Frost, and Jack Prelutsky.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
An excellent addition to a classroom or library poetry shelf, this collection of more than fifty scary poems will appeal to readers first for its haunting subject matter and then for its wonderful language. The anthology represents a broad range of poets, including William Shakespeare, Carl Sandburg, Theodore Roethke, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Jack Prelutzky and Grace Nichols, among others. Anonymous classic poems, such as "There was an Old Woman," are included, as are poems from other times and cultures, such as one about Anancy the spider of African and Caribbean lore. From water sprites to witches, from owls to ghosts and haunted ships, and from "The Frozen Man" to "The Bogeyman," readers' imaginations will be sparked and their spines tingle. Originally published in hardcover as The Whispering Room in 1996, this paperback reprint contains vivid illustrations that make this book as intriguing to look at as to read aloud. 2003 (orig. 1996), Kingfisher/Houghton Mifflin Co, Ages 7 to 10.
— Valerie O. Patterson
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A collection of more than 50 poems about ghosts, phantoms, and other supernatural creatures, including traditional verses; classics by poets such as William Shakespeare, Christina Rossetti, Robert Frost, and Carl Sandburg; and new selections by contemporary poets. Readers looking for spine-tingling, blood-chilling verses may be disappointed in the selections, but will be intrigued by the nightmarish images in Todd's paintings. The illustrations do dominate the pages, so much so that the haunting nature of the poems themselves is best appreciated when they are read aloud.-Carolyn Angus, The Claremont Graduate School, CA
Kirkus Reviews
A well-presented anthology of literary verse scary enough to be fun for read-alouds and handsome enough for display.

Represented is a wide range of poets, from William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson to Jack Prelutsky and Clarke. Children contribute a couple, and Anonymous makes an appearance. Some of the poems are mood pieces, such as "Carbreakers," by Marian Lines, about a graveyard for wrecks, and Berlie Doherty's "Quieter Than Snow," about entering an empty schoolroom. Others are narratives: In Dannie Abse's "Emperors of the Island," pirates murder each other; "The Visitor," by Ian Serraillier, is a version of the golden arm story. The gouache illustrations are delightfully eerie, often slightly off-center in subdued palettes. Much thought has been given to the choice of illustration; some of the poems that are fairly neutral in tone have been rendered spooky by the art, e.g., for Dickinson's "The Snow," about snow's making a face of the landscape, Todd created a wraith-like white face with the trees as ringlets and a shack for an ear. Make sure the room in which these poems are recited is not too dark or dim; children will want to see the art.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753450246
  • Publisher: Kingfisher
  • Publication date: 9/15/1996
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 72
  • Age range: 8 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.29 (w) x 10.31 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Gillian Clarke and Justin Todd worked together on the hardcover edition of this book, The Whispering Room: Haunted Poems, which was an IRA-CBC Children's Choice for 1997.
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