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I MUST GO DOWN TO THE BEACH AGAIN by Karen Jo Shapiro

I MUST GO DOWN TO THE BEACH AGAIN

and Other Poems

By Karen Jo Shapiro (Author) , Judy Love (Illustrator)

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 1-58089-143-8
Publisher: Charlesbridge

Shapiro follows up Because I Could Not Stop My Bike, and Other Poems (2003), illustrated by Matt Faulkner, with 23 more ingenious takeoffs on works from Emily Dickinson and similar renowned poets. Paying due homage to the originals with citations on the page and endnotes too, she artfully commandeers phrases and rhythms while steering the actual topics in wildly different directions. She transforms Poe’s “The Bells,” for instance, to “The Smells”: “Use your nose and find the smells! / All the smells! / What a lot of different things your sniffing nose foretells!” Not all of the entries are satirical, but Shapiro’s at her best when poking fun, whether she’s riffing on Blake’s “Sick Love” (“Oh, Tummy—you are sick! / I ate too much / of ice cream on a stick.”), Lord Byron (“So, our noses we’ll be blowing”) or even Stevenson’s “Requiem”: “Under a polka-dotted sheet.” Love’s monochrome ink-and-wash illustrations feature a multi-racial cast of children in various forms of travail or postures of reverie, along with the occasional stinky sponge, spattered pet or interested-looking bird. Read these aloud, either just for fun or to add decidedly different angles to a poetry unit. (Poetry. 9-12)