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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Earth Verse: Haiku From the Ground Up. Written by Sally M. Walker and illustrated by William Grill. Candlewick Press, Penguin Random House. 2018. $23.99 all ages

"check out a new look:
metamorphic makeover
turns granite to gneiss

seafloor tug-of-war:
a tsunami drowns the shore,
neighborhoods vanish

hot rock meets cold sea,
shatters lava to black sand ...
a crab tiptoes home"

For kids and adults interested in earth science, this book explores the wonder of geology. Using the economy of the haiku poetic form, Sally Walker pens 29 poems that begin with the planet Earth itself and move on to the many features that make its geology worthy of study and wonder.

There is such richness in the descriptive (and, at times, unfamiliar) word choice. The author explores cataclysmic events, and natural formations. Making meaning for scientific fact in so few words is quite the accomplishment. I found them to be both fascinating and informative.

"sediment filled waves
tumble in a frothy foam ...
a gull wears sand socks"

"no bucket needed
the sea builds its own castle ...
flowers bloom on dunes"

William Grill's colored pencil artwork provides a worthy accompaniment to the succinct poems. In relaxed depictions of what is in contained in the poetry, he gives a sense of place and portrays the actions of the earth. In the bottom corner of each illustration is one symbol of nine presented - Earth, minerals, rocks, fossils, earthquakes, volcanoes, atmospheric and surface water, glaciers and groundwater. Back matter provides a section to include more information about each.

A list of suggestions for further reading will encourage those wanting to know more to do just that.

"gold, silver, copper,
sapphires, rubies, emeralds -
glittery Earth-bling"

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