Friday, October 26, 2007
Poetry Friday -- Halloween ABC
by Eve Merriam
Illustrated by Lane Smith
I'm feeling old. (It doesn't take much these days.) Eve Merriam's book of 26 Halloween poems has been one of my all-time favorite holiday books since...this is where the problem lies...since close to the beginning of my teaching career. Yeah. That long. And when I went to Powell's to get an image and a link, it wasn't there. Because it's out of print.
Come to find out, I missed the release of the updated version in 2002:
I doubt I would have bought it because, frankly, it doesn't look as spooky as the original book. I really liked Lane Smith's dark, foreboding illustrations. It appears from the reviews that the poems are the same in both books, only the illustrations have been updated. And the poems are classic Eve Merriam. If she chooses some predictable Halloween subjects for some of the letters, she writes a surprising poem. Every poem is completely unique -- there is no formula for the poems that make them repetitious and boring. The poem for Apple begins,
what do you hide?
(You can see the whole poem for Apple here.)
This poem is a good example of the way the whole book twists and turns your expectations for what each poem might be about, or what word she might choose for each letter of the alphabet.
Grab this book (if you can find it), turn the lights off and light a flickering candle, get out your spookiest voice, and have a great read aloud! Happy Halloween!
Today's roundup is at Literary Safari, a new blog for me. Look around their blog a bit before you click out to the poems today. They've got some great stuff over there!