COLOR ME A RHYME by Jane Yolen


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Age Range: 9 - 13
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The ubiquitous Yolen (Sherwood, p. 806, etc.) has previously collaborated with Stemple on three books of nature poems illustrated with photographs. In this latest joint effort, Stemple (Yolen’s son) first takes photographs isolating or emphasizing one color in nature and Yolen then writes poems to coordinate with the photos. Eleven colors are included, with “Crayons: A Rainbow Poem” as the final poem, gracefully melding all the colors into one lyrical homage to the infinite variety of shades in the world of nature, including the wide variety of skin colors in people around us. Each two-page spread includes one poem by Yolen, a featured photo and a related background photo, a list of additional color words in large type integrated into the design, and a fragment of poetry about the particular color from another source, often a Mother Goose rhyme. Yolen has done an excellent job of creating poetry of all sorts, from a few spare and simple lines to some more complex poems, and she has included both rhyming and non-rhyming poems as well as several haiku. Language-arts teachers will welcome this book, as writing poems about colors is a common assignment in fourth through eighth grades, and in an author’s note, Yolen encourages young people to try writing their own color poems using the color word lists and photographs. The standard book of children’s poetry about colors, Hailstones and Halibut Bones, by Mary O’Neill (1961, 1989), is for a slightly younger audience and doesn’t have the advantage of the gorgeous photographs in this book that show nature’s true colors in all their glory. A multicolored gem for the poetry shelves in most school and public libraries. (Poetry. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-56397-892-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000


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