Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings Hardcover – Mar 15 2007
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This large-format book looks at astronomy through the magnifying, clarifying lens of poetry. Each broad double-page spread features a short, accessible poem about a subject such as the sun, each of its planets, a comet, a constellation, or the universe, set within an impressive painting. A concrete poem entitled "a galaxy" is a curling spiral of words set against the midnight-blue sky and surrounded by other galaxies. Stamped type, cutout pages, collage elements with printed papers, and sweeping brushstrokes all figure prominently in the expressive collage artwork, which ably illustrates the verse. The last pages carry "A Galactic Glossary" with a paragraph on the topic of each poem, followed by a list of books and Web sites. Florian's ode to Pluto matter-of-factly notes its demoted status, but even better is his pithy poem on Jupiter: "Jupiter's jumbo, / Gigantic, / Immense, / So wide / Side to side, / But gaseous, not dense. / With some sixteen moons / It's plainly prolific-- / So super-dupiter / Jupiterrific!" Read this aloud. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
* Nothing gladdens the heart of believers of good poetry for children more than a new collection by Florian. . . . This one literally sings the music of the spheres. . . . In both language and artwork, Florian strikes the perfect balance between grandeur and whimsy." - School Library Journal 7/1/07 (starred) "The poet-painter's latest book brings warm wit to the outermost reaches of cold, dark space. . . . Florian's illustrations depict the marvels of space with luminous texture and detail."
- The New York Times Book Review "
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Beginning with the poem "skywatch," two children look at the sky. The next poem is "the universe."
Die cut "planet" holes move the reader deeper and further through space. From "mercury" to "venus" to "the earth" to "the moon" the poems continue in order according to their distance from the Sun. Comets, black holes and the mystery of what lies beyond are also addressed. Florian's ability to weave facts and fun are on full display here.
The bright color palette echoes the amazing views from the Hubble space telescope. This generation of kids has grown up looking at Seymour Simon's books about the solar system and the Universe. They have seen the colors that are out there.
Check out the Harcourt page about the book and download Florian's Poetry Kit. The "Practical Poetry Pointers" are some of the most best tips for writing poetry with kids that I have ever seen.
You have Gotta-Have-It.
I feel that the poems are, for the most part, well-written. This book reminded me a little of Science Verse by Jon Scieszka in that it blends science with somewhat humorous poetry. At times the rhythms in this book seem a bit awkward and contrived. Some of the poems are so cute and creative, though. I especially enjoyed the one about Pluto:
"Pluto was a planet.
But now it doesn't pass.
Pluto was a planet.
They say it's lacking mass.
Pluto was a planet.
Pluto was admired.
Pluto was a planet.
Till one day it got fired."
One thing I enjoyed about this book is that as you read the poems, you are learning about the solar system. There is even a "Galactic Glossary" at the end which gives a little background about each poem topic.
The paintings are just beautiful and are so creative, and are done in an interesting collage style.
Another fun poetry collection which is similar to this is Bugs - check it out, too!
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