SOUNDS OF RAIN by David L. Harrison


Poems of the Amazon
by & photographed by
Age Range: 8 - 11
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Despite its good ideas, this poetic tribute to the great rain forest falls flat. The poems tend to be clunky—unrhymed but also lacking rhythm and structure—and are hard to read aloud, a mortal sin for poetry. “The Girls,” a poem that refers to zebra swallowtail butterflies, sounds patronizing: “Lazy morning, no agenda, / hanging with the sisters, / showing off their jewels, / sipping water ladylike / through a straw.” Other poems simply lack imagination: “There is no word big enough / to hold rain forest rain.” That said, the poetry is actually better than the pictures: The design of the volume incorporates what look like Polaroid shots as well as full-page, full-bleed photographs. The latter are more successful, but the photos of water, sky and wildlife rarely seem specific to the Amazon; they could be almost anywhere and are usually somewhat out of focus or too limited to capture the poem’s message. Some of the poems are printed on reproductions of paper torn from a spiral-bound notebook; slapped onto a photographic page that sometimes also holds a snapshot, it’s supposed to look like a scrapbook but instead it just hides whatever is behind it. (Poetry. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-59078-442-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2006


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