POETREES by Douglas Florian


by and illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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Trees receive a witty and informative rhyming appreciation. Starting with a concrete poem about “The Seed” (which brilliantly snakes its way into the shape of the infinity sign) and moving into species both familiar—“Oak,” “Giant Sequoias”—and less well known—“Scribbly Gum,” “Bristlecone Pine”—Florian also introduces readers to such individual elements as “Roots” and “Bark.” The author renders his illustrations on crinkly, brown paper bags in a diverse assortment of media—gouache watercolors, colored paints, rubber stamps, oil pastels and collage—and incorporates images of humans (hands, faces, whole bodies) into many of them. Equally effective is the large double-page layout of the book, which opens top to bottom rather than left to right, giving each tree room to grow. His style is looser than in previous books, in keeping with the organic, natural theme. Although some of his wordplay falls flat (sequoias are “Ancient seers / Of three thousand years”), by and large the poems live up to his usual high standard. The author is careful to include a “Glossatree,” an author’s note and a bibliography. Readers and listeners will learn and laugh. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8672-0
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: BBC Books/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2010


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