Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Poetry book for the very young

The Letterbox Cat & Other Poems by Paula Green, illus. Myles Lawford, Scholastic NZ

Printed in striking black and red on white, this book of poems should appeal greatly to primary teachers planning a class called “Fun With Poetry”. Paula runs NZ Poetry Box, a useful blog for children and schools at The poems in this anthology are an intriguing mix of words, design and illustration, using shape to enhance meaning. For example, the poem about a kite is laid out in the shape of a kite with a long winding tail, while the words in Nice Ice are arranged in the shape of an icecream cone. The book offers perfect examples for children to follow with their own poetry and design. Myles Lawford’s illustrations are minimalist and quirky, befitting the light tone of the poems.
Could this book be used at home? Yes. If a parent was determined to introduce a pre-schooler or young primary-aged child to poetry, this would be an interesting place to start because of the extra visual elements. BTW, the poem about the Letterbox Cat is on page 24. I wonder why it wasn’t printed on the first page…
ISBN 978 1 77543 223 4 RRP $12 Pb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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