I picked up In the Sea by David Elliott at the library on a whim, and because the preschool class at our homeschool co-op had recently had an opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with a turtle, I took it to read to them. What I failed to do is pre-read it before I took it, so I was more surprised than they were when it turned out to be a book of short and lovely poems! (Here’s one of the many disappointing truths about me: I’m not nearly as organized as people think I am. I do a lot of things “by the seat of my pants,” and I pre-read almost nothing. I realize this breaks a cardinal rule of reading aloud, but it’s the truth of my life. Things usually work out okay anyway. ) Well, if I had to go all unprepared, I couldn’t have picked a lovelier book to do it with! Elliott’s poems are short and very thoughtful, and while most of them probably did go over the preschoolers’ heads, isn’t that true about poetry for all of us, at least some of the time? Since I can’t share a poem in its entirety, I will share a few of my favorite metaphors and images from In the Sea:
- “The Sea Turtle”: “Rare instrument of nature,/ fair compass in a carapace.”
- “The Starfish”: “the starfish shines/ in a sky of sand.”
- “The Dolphin”: “He’s the jester/ of the briny deep,/ an acrobat with fins.”
Holly Meade‘s woodblock prints which accompany these poems are gorgeous. Woodblock printing is one of my favorite mediums, and this is a perfect pairing. If you’re looking for a fun and beautiful book of short poems to share with poetry lovers, or even if you have some poetry skeptics to win over, this book would make a perfect pick. (Candlewick, 2012)
This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is at Tapestry of Words.