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OUTSIDE THE LINES by Brad Burg

OUTSIDE THE LINES

Poetry at Play

By Brad Burg (Author) , Rebecca Gibbon (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-399-23446-2
Publisher: Putnam

Children trying to navigate these cheery concrete poems would be well-advised to follow the rhymes, because the words might read back and forth to evoke a game of “Catch”; up from the bottom, down from the top, or both (“Slide”); in spirals, swoops, or even from the center out (“Tic-Tac-Toe [A Battle Plan]”). Gibbons gives the verses plenty of elbowroom, setting them against spacious stretches of lawn, sand, wide, city streets or, sometimes, unadorned white space. Musician/songwriter Burg writes of happy times on ball fields, playgrounds, and beaches, in bedroom and back yard. If he closes with an invitation to “Connect the Dots” that may have children reaching for a pen or pencil, still the visual challenge of reading this poetry can be engrossing, and to judge from the popularity of Paul Janeczko’s collection, A Poke in the I (2001), concrete poetry may be enjoying a renaissance. (Poetry. 7-10)