Friday, March 26, 2010

Poetry Friday: Ocean Soup

Ocean Soup: Tide-Pool Poems by Stephen R. Swinburne, illustrated by Mary Peterson. (Grades 2-5.) Charlesbridge, February 2010. Review copy provided by publisher.

If a starfish interviewed an octopus, what questions would it ask? Do mussels ever get sick of living so close together? And what the heck is a "gastropod", anyway? In Ocean Soup: Tide-Pool Poems we'll hear from all these creatures and many more. Bright illustrations of tide-pool creatures, complete with anthropomorphic expressions, accompany the lively poems in this seaside collection.

Some of the poems worked better than others for me, but overall this is a good collection. And it fits in perfectly with this summer's collaborative Summer Reading theme.

My favorite of the poems is probably Hairy Doris. Here's a snippet:

Hello, my name is Doris.
I'm a shell-less gastropod, 
but you can call me "sea slug,"
if gastropod sounds odd. 

Don't you think I'm gorgeous? 
With my raspy tongue I scrape
for bits of healthy food to eat. 
A slug must watch her shape.

This is an example, too, of how Steve Swinburne incorporates facts into each poem. Also, a short blurb accompanies each poem giving a few more facts about the animal in question.

Steve talks about the inspiration behind Ocean Soup over at Unabridged, the Charlesbridge blog.

And it's Poetry Friday. Head on over to The Drift Record for the roundup.