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Black Swan, White Crow

Black Swan, White Crow

by J. Patrick Lewis, Christopher Manson (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Andrea Brott
If you're the kind of person known to take a snobbish attitude toward haiku, this is the book that will put you in your place. Lewis' haiku are like still ponds-calming, but deep. His language is crisp (The meadow reddens-/my old black lab fills/the sky with quail), and sometimes even startling (Plains blizzard! Bison, shoulder to shoulder-music of sleet and slow tongues). The accompanying woodblock prints, in soft pastels, are subtle, but effective. This is a book to be savored in a quiet moment in front of the fireplace.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-The beauty of haiku is the poet's ability to use strong language to relay powerful images in few syllables. Lewis's choice of words here is radiant, especially with nouns used effectively as verbs. Imagery is further enhanced with words that not only sound right, but look good on the page, e.g. petalworth, saltlick, blizzard. Lewis relaxes the traditional Japanese haiku style, yet maintains the integrity and grace of the form, embracing nature in every potent line. The woodcut text adds much life to the words, tying them more softly to the full-page illustration on the opposite pages. Underscoring the strength of the selections are the stunning woodcut illustrations. In many of the pictures, a minor touch of black juxtaposes beautifully with the shapely text. Done in muted tones, they are still, picking up the subtleties of the poems. They are spare, yet there is much to see. Well-designed pages allow readers to absorb immediately both words and picture, rounding out the experience of reading haiku. Water, sky, snow, sand, and creatures from the lowly spider to the tranquil deer reside in this small, beautiful book. It's a fine example of how the delicate simplicity of poetry can conjure up unforgettable images.-Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI

Product Details

Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Christopher Manson is an author and illustrator of children’s books. He studied art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia and at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He lives in Rockville, Maryland.

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