Friday, March 9, 2012

Poetry Friday - A Review of Under the spell of the moon

I review a lot of books. A lot. Much as I would like to put all my favorites titles on my shelves, this just isn't possible because my house isn't big enough. So, I have to be selective. I have to be very very choosy. 

Today's poetry book is one of the titles that I have on my books-to-dip-into shelf. Looking at the pages is rather like having a feast. I can explore the extraordinary art, AND and I can read the poetry. If I need a lift there is something here to cheer me up, and when I need to be soothed, there are several poems in the collection that are very comforting and calming. This really is the kind of book that you can grow old with. 

Foreword by Katherine Paterson, Introduction by Patricia Aldana
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 7 and up
Groundwood Books, 2004, 978-0888995599
When Jella Lepman founded the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) she hoped that books could be used to help children all over the world to recover from wars and other catastrophic events. She hoped too that books would unite children from different countries and thus help people of different nationalities, races, and creeds to get along better. Though Jella Lepman is not longer with us to continue her work, her dream lives on. In celebration of the art used in children's literature and to raise money for IBBY, illustrators from all over the world have contributed their artwork for this book. which they have paired with poems that they love.
   On the pages of this beautiful and special book readers will find the work of, among others, Peter Sis, Quentin Blake, Anno, Marie-Louise Gay, Eva Eriksson, Philippe Dumas, and Anthony Browne. The poems and songs which accompany the art are funny or moving, or contemplative. Some of the pieces rhyme, and some are written in blank verse. A wide variety of subjects is explored in the poetry, and many of the poems are traditional, though some were written by the artist. Where the illustrator is from a non-English speaking country, the poems and songs are written both in their native language and in English. In some cases the script is, in itself, beautiful to look at.
   This book would make a wonderful gift for a child, but it would also delight anyone who has a love of the written word and children's book illustration.

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