Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Shape me a rhyme: Natures Forms in Poetry

Shape me a rhyme: Natures Forms in Poetry

Jane Yolen
Photographer: Jason Stemple
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 7 to 10
Boyds Mills Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-1590784501

You may not realize it but nature is full of circles, spirals, triangles, coils, stars, hearts, waves, and other lovely shapes. All you have to do is open your eyes and look around you. In this poetry collection Jane Yolen has written twelve image and emotion filled poems which beautifully compliment the photographs taken by her son, Jason Stemple.

Jason has found some stunning examples of shapes in nature. There is a gorgeously flaming sun which “round as a ball” goes “circling/over again.” The triangular teeth of a crocodile smile at us from the page “dagger-ous” for certain if we were to get too close to the real thing. A simple yet elegant five armed star fish lies on a dark beach. Are those five arms or “legs clinging on to me?”

With tenderness, humor, wit, and an obvious love of nature’s wonders, Jane Yolen takes her young readers on a splendid poetry filled journey into sunlight and shadow, onto beaches and into gentle green places. The pairing of poems and photos could not be better, and on each double page spread the poet also gives her readers some additional shape words. Thus on the oval page, in addition to her poem, readers will find “ovoid” and “ellipse” gently placed around the picture of an egg in a nest.