Friday, January 7, 2011

Poetry Friday - A review of Zombies! Evacuate the school

Here is a poetry book that is not only full of funny poems, but that also will help young readers to write their own poems. 

Sara Holbrook
Illustrated by Karen Sandstrom
For ages 8 to 11
Boyds Mills Press, 2010, 978-1-59078-820-2
   Do you remember reading sing songy poems in an old Mother Goose book? Perhaps you had a copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A child’s garden of verses? I am willing to guess that you think writing poetry is easy. Sure it is, all you have to do is to make words rhyme. Actually, it is not easy at all, which is what Sara Holbrook discovered when one of her middle school teachers told her to write a poem. Not knowing how to even begin to write a poem, Sara ‘borrowed’ a poem from a book of poetry that she had at home. Needless to say, she was “busted” and told to write her own poem.
   Thankfully, Sara has come a long way since she was in middle school. For this book, she explores school days and experiences using various poetry forms. What makes this book unique is that she is determined to help would-be poets to find their own voice. Mixed in with the poems are tips to help writers who want to try writing poems of their own. Prompts, questions, and suggestions will help readers to begin their own journey into poetry writing.
   The third poem in the book is about a journey on a big yellow school bus. Full of onomatopoeic words, it perfectly captures the noise and discomfort that comes with riding on a bumpy school bus. A note next to the poem talks about how Sara Holbrook used her own remembered bus rides to “write this bumpin,’ thumpin,’ omopatopeia-jumpin’” poem.
   Later on in the book, she shows readers how imagery and “sensory details” can be used to great effect. In Oh No! a child sees two girls carrying a tray of delicious cupcakes walking by. Of course, the child hopes that he or she will get to taste the delicious treats, but unfortunately, the birthday party is in another class.
   In this book, Sara Holbrook uses humor, sensitivity, and creativity to help readers to appreciate poetry on a new level. 


Anonymous said...


We are getting your books delivered to our address. Please call me at 541/646-1700 so I can get these books to you. Thanks.
V Cross

sara holbrook said...

Hi there! I saw this review posted on Facebook. Thanks for your enthusiasm and I LOVE your blog. BTW, this book is half of a pair -- the other half, Weird? Me, Too. Let's Be Friends is coming out in April. As the Zombie book had poems about school, this book has poems about friendship, conflict, and getting along. If you write to me back channel I will make sure you receive a review copy. sara holbrook

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