Today’s collection of poems is yet another educational nonfiction collection by the magnificent Jane Yolen.
This time the subject matter is all things under the ground (just as its title would imply). I found the concept fascinating and not creepy (as I feared it might be macbre). It talks about roots, moles, bugs, subways, basements and many other things I didn’t think the subject would encompass. Yet somehow it all fits together (and I can’t wait to read this to my students!).
As usual, Jane is at her prime with word play here. I just love the first poem in its whole clever entirety. And I was enthralled with the line “Here in the black places of the world, lie the noisy skirls of change:” in the second poem. (I admit I had to look up the word “skirls” to figure out what it meant and was stunned at its eloquence of description!)
As if that weren’t enough, the illustrations that show the intricacies involved below ground are equally wonderful. As I child, I loved looking at books with this much detail and reveling in each page’s intricacies of illustration. I couldn’t choose just one nugget to share, so I share the two: