AN OLD SHELL by Tony Johnston


Poems of the Galápagos
Age Range: 8 - 12
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Spun from a 1995 visit, these 34 short poems are largely meditations on the wildlife of the Gal†pagos Islands and their past: after a long voyage, a rice rat arrives on a tangle of floating vines, a tall flamingo “drinks from its/cool green reflection,” a Sally Lightfoot crab comes “skibbling over the sand/in/delicate/dressage,” and Darwin’s ship, The Beagle, harbinger of so much destructive change, returns, ghostly, to bob like a shell in the offshore mist. Using a variety of verse forms and rhyme schemes, Johnston conveys her visions and observations in easy, everyday language; Pohrt’s drawings capture a sense of the locale’s isolation in depictions of a single creature clambering over flotsam, or small stretches of rocky coastline. This is a quiet, low-key celebration of a remote, endangered natural community. (Poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 1999
ISBN: 0-374-35648-3
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1999