Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Join Hands! The Ways We Celebrate Life

Join Hands! The Ways We Celebrate Life
by Pat Mora
with photographs by George Ancona
Charlesbridge, 2008
review copy provided by the publisher

A year ago, I had never heard of the Malaysian poetic form pantoum.

Then last year, Tricia (Miss Rumphius Effect) used the pantoum for one of her poetry stretches. She explained the form, wrote an original, and shared the pantoums her stretch participants wrote.

This August, Kelly Fineman explored the pantoum for Poetry Friday.

Jone shared an original pantoum in April, and then came back at the end of August to a poem she worked on for Elaine's (Wild Rose Reader) and Janet Wong's challenge to write a ring/blanket/drum poem and made it into a ring/blanket/drum pantoum!

And now Pat Mora and George Ancona have created a single-pantoum picture book! I declare it The Year of the Pantoum! The pantoum is the perfect form for Mora's poem. She explains, "A pantoum is a repeating form written in four-line stanzas. The second and fourth lines in one stanza become the first and third lines in the next stanza. In the last stanza, the second and fourth lines are almost the same as the frst and third lines of the first stanza. So, like a group of friends joining hands, the poem becomes a circle."

In her poem, friends sing and dance, strut and ballyhoo, plan a masquerade and a parade, take a chance and begin to dance, and join hands in a "happy hoopla way." A fun book and a great invitation to children to explore the pantoum.


  1. You review THE BEST books. I have a list of about a million I want to buy! Thanks for all these wonderful recommendations!

  2. Sounds like something I may want to give it a try. Thank You!

  3. You know I love you, but that's one bad poem of mine you linked to!

    Can't wait to see this book and read a pantoum done right.

  4. Anonymous8:42 AM

    I used to think a pantoum was the bottom half of an outfit, but thanks to y'all, I know better now!

    The book sounds good. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. Susan--

    Hardy har har har!


  6. Thanks for this post. I hadn't heard about this poetry book. I'll have to order a copy.

  7. Anonymous2:53 PM

    Cannot wait to get my hands on this. I love this form....am thinking of writing and pairing haiku and pantuom together.


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