THE WHISPERING ROOM by Gillian Clarke

THE WHISPERING ROOM

Haunted Poems
edited by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A well-presented anthology of literary verse scary enough to be fun for read-alouds and handsome enough for display. Represented is a wide range of poets, from William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson to Jack Prelutsky and Clarke. Children contribute a couple, and Anonymous makes an appearance. Some of the poems are mood pieces, such as ``Carbreakers,'' by Marian Lines, about a graveyard for wrecks, and Berlie Doherty's ``Quieter Than Snow,'' about entering an empty schoolroom. Others are narratives: In Dannie Abse's ``Emperors of the Island,'' pirates murder each other; ``The Visitor,'' by Ian Serraillier, is a version of the golden arm story. The gouache illustrations are delightfully eerie, often slightly off-center in subdued palettes. Much thought has been given to the choice of illustration; some of the poems that are fairly neutral in tone have been rendered spooky by the art, e.g., for Dickinson's ``The Snow,'' about snow's making a face of the landscape, Todd created a wraith-like white face with the trees as ringlets and a shack for an ear. Make sure the room in which these poems are recited is not too dark or dim; children will want to see the art. (index) (Poetry. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-7534-5024-0
Page count: 72pp
Publisher: Kingfisher
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996