posted by Andrea Perry
Not only does April bring showers, it brings National Poetry Month as well. And the best combination of them both is Joan Bransfield Graham's wonderful shape poetry book, Splish Splash. Splish Splash was my introduction into the wonderful world of shape poetry, and Graham's book is a delightful look at all of the shapes that water takes, from ice cubes, to waves, to rain showers, to rivers and babbling brooks. The perfect marriage of poetry and art, shape poetry is a great way to have fun with the placement of words on a page to enhance the poetry experience. Graham has the same fun with Flicker Flash, a collection of poems in the many shapes of light. From a candle, to a flashlight, to a lighthouse, to a match, to a light bulb, the brightly colored full page illustrated poems are a de-"light."
Two other shape poetry collections that I am fond of are Doodle Dandies by J. Patrick Lewis, and Meow Ruff, A Story in Concrete Poetry, by Joyce Sidman. As if poetry isn't enough fun, the added bonus of twisting, turning, blooming and exploding words is the icing on the cake. In a few of his poetry collections, author/illustrator Douglas Florian has also included a shape poem or two to accent the shape, movement, or habitat of his selected insect or creature. If you have not yet been exposed to any shape poetry, make sure to check out these books at your local library, or take a poem out for a spin yourself. It's a poetry party on the page!