THE WHISPERING ROOM: Haunted Poems by Gillian--Ed. Clarke


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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 Doberty'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.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
Page count: 72pp
Publisher: Kingfisher