Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Poetry Friday - A review of Something Fishy

When I was growing up we went camping at the seaside every summer. We pitched tents on the beach and for days I had a wonderful time building things out of rocks, swimming, exploring the beach, and snorkeling. I would snorkel for so long my skin got wrinkly and my face mask left a red line on my forehead. I loved to watch the little fish, eels, and other underwater creatures. I would have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book of poetry, which explores the lives of animals that live in water.

Barry Louis Polisar
Illustrations by David Clark
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Rainbow Morning Music, 2013, 978-0-938663-53-9
Watching, photographing, and learning about animals is something many people enjoy doing. Men, women, and children watch nature shows, visit zoos, go on safaris and find other opportunities to see animals in their natural environment. There are many people who are particularly taken with animals who live in oceans, seas, and lakes, and they put on masks, carry tanks of oxygen on their backs, and put up with freezing cold water so that they can see fish, whales, and other animals going about their business.
For those of us who are not really interested in getting wet to see aquatic animals, there are movies and television shows to watch, and books to read. Some books have made up stories about underwater explorations, while others are nonfiction. Then there are authors who choose to describe animals who live in water using poetry.
In this book Barry Louis Polisar’s clever poems are paired with often amusing illustrations to give readers a little trip underwater. We meet the oddly named sweetlips fish, and find out that horseshoe crabs come on land to mate. Unfortunately, many of them “get stranded” when the tide goes out because they are “followed nature’s calling.”
Some of the animals we meet on the pages are creatures we would rather avoid in the real world. These include the jellyfish, “a nettlesome bunch of bad luck,” and crocodiles and alligators. Others, such as seahorses and barnacles are harmless, and if we were to encounter then we could watch them without fear.
The last poem wraps up this collection perfectly. In it the author celebrates all the creatures that live in water ending with the words “Praise all that swims and floats.”
Well-crafted poems and wonderful artwork make this book a must for anyone who likes poetry or who has a fondness for seas, oceans, lakes, and rivers.

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