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, December 13, 2013

Poetry Friday with a review of: The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems

I have reviewed several books that contain a collection of "classic" poems. One would think that I would get tired of reading such books, but I don't because they are all different. Today's poetry title is a collection of poems that will appeal to readers of all ages.

The Barefoot Book of Classic PoemsThe Barefoot Book of Classic poems
Illustrated by Jackie Morris
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 7 and up
Barefoot Books, 2006, 1-905236-56-5
There are certain poems that people today consider to be “classic.” What makes a poem a classic anyway? Carol Ann Duffy, who wrote the introduction to this book, feels that the classic poems chosen for this collection are ones that “continue to shine brightly in the English language.” Such is the nature of something that is a classic. It is timeless and still resonates with people today, even though it was written in a different time and place.
   Though this collection was put together for children, adults will also enjoy being able to “rediscover” poems that they knew when they were young, and perhaps meet poems that are new to them as well. The poems will provide and adults and children with connecting point that they can share.
   What makes this collection truly special is that Jackie Morris has chosen poems that explore a wide variety of emotions and experiences. Lilian Moore’s poem, Until I saw the sea tells the story of what it was like when she saw the sea for the first time. She is amazed to discover that the wind can “wrinkle” water, and that the sea “breathes in and out / upon the shore.” Though the poem is short and spare, the poet captures the awe and wonder she felt on seeing the sea.
   Some of the poems describe animals, both real and imagined, while others tell the stories of amonster, a brave knight, a cowardly dragon, a pair of unusual lovers, and more.
   The poems also capture special moments, freezing them for all time so that they can be enjoyed again and again. In Daffodils we read about how the writer “wandered lonely as a cloud” until he saw a “host, of golden daffodils,” and the memory of this sight later warms him again and again when he is in a “vacant or pensive mood.”
   Throughout the book the poems are paired with Jackie Morris’ gorgeous illustrations that give the poems another layer of emotion and meaning.

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