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African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  67 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Look carefully! The wild animals of Africa spring to life in clever, lighthearted poems and compelling, evocative photographs.

Inside every acrostic is a secret message, often lurking in the first letter of each line (read top to bottom). But look out! These acrostics not only follow their subjects to Africa, but they also take the form to a whole new level. Here you’ll fin
40 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Candlewick Press
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Mar 10, 2012 L12_markmesserly rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This review pertains to the 2009 hardcover edition. Grades 4-8.

This engaging book features acrostic poems about African animals, each featuring an amazing photograph by Deborah Noyes. Most of the acrostics feature the related hidden word (or words) in the traditional vertical format. From Moody Guy, about the rhinoceros, the phrase is Beauty in the Beast (n. pag.). Other poems include unusual patterns, and Impalas in Peril has a five-word message embedded within the poem.

The end-notes include a
Janet Squires
Jan 29, 2016 Janet Squires rated it it was amazing
Harley invites readers to decode the hidden messages that appear in her eighteen animal-themed poems and learn a bit about the natural world while Noyes awes viewers with stunning photography. Of course you will find lions, elephants, giraffes, and hippopotamuses but this celebration of African wildlife also has some surprises. Kudus, bonobos, cape buffalo, bat-eared foxes, African wildcats, and hornbills find a place among the more familiar crocodiles and ostriches.

One of my favorite poems is t
Bridget R. Wilson
Jan 19, 2010 Bridget R. Wilson rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-poetry
Ms. Harley uses one poetic form, the acrostic, to explore animals of the African continent.

What I thought: Stupendous poems. They read well and look even better on the page. Love the photographs—they really capture the animals’ vitality. I liked the “lesson” at the end pf the book on the form. Teachers will appreciate this book. Kids like animals, especially exotic ones. Could there be a better way to teach poetry?

The acrostic was the form I cut my poetic teeth on. During freshman English in hig
Katie Fitzgerald
This book is a collection of acrostic poems about animals that live in Africa. Each poem is accompanied by a huge photograph of its animal subject. Some of the poems simply have one line for each letter in the animal's name. Others are more impressively complicated, using different phrases as their bases, or creating double acrostics, where both the first and last letters in each line spell out a word.

These poems are so well done, I kept forgetting they were acrostics. They flow so smoothly, and
Meaghan Grady
African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways By: Avis Harley
Meaghan G., Spring 2015

**Poetry #2**

African Acrostics is a fun filled poem book! This book literally was amazing! I love poetry and the author did an amazing job of incorporating acrostic poems with animals of Africa! The photographer had breathtaking photos of these beautiful creatures! Throughout this book there are hidden words that describe the animal as well as actions and adjectives. There were some poems that were formed into some fun
Mar 17, 2011 Yael rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I am so glad that I found this book. Every kid I have ever known loves to write acrostic poems. They choose to do acrostics every chance they get. I have seen young kids do mothers day poems, birthday cards, and choice assignments as acrostics. This book is a themed poetry book describing all of the glorious animals that roam the continent Africa. In fact I find it extremely informative about animals that I had never even heard of.

What I especially like about this book that I don't often see is
DyolF Dixon
Feb 22, 2015 DyolF Dixon rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
African Acrostics, poems by Avis Harley, photographs by Deborah Noyes is a book of poems for ages 4-6. I think you could use this book in third grade, if you had the students form groups and work together after the teacher read the poem to find the acrostics.
Acrostic poems spell words using letters in the poems. The letters are usually the first letter in each line. It can be the first and last letters of each line (double acrostic) or the first letter in the first line, second letter in the sec
Samuel Graham
Mar 20, 2016 Samuel Graham rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A nice introduction to acrostic poems for middle and late elementary students. Each of Harley's poems is about an African animal. Noyes' beautiful, full-color photographs accompany each poem. Harley includes various types of acrostics, including the double acrostic, cross acrostic, and multiple acrostic. Students will need to read closely because of the structure of the text and because she uses some higher-level (Tier 2 and Tier 3) vocabulary. The support tools at the end of the book include an ...more
Barb Dean
Sep 17, 2013 Barb Dean rated it really liked it
This wonderful poetry/photographic gem just caught my attention. Avis Harley provides the acrostics - one of my favourite poetic forms for my own personal writing and as a creative writing pattern. Harley's first
defines simply what an acrostic is and his endpapers offer very simple explanations and encouragement for anyone wanting to venture into the acrostic world.

Deborah Noyes photographs take us right to Africa - close up to the animals one might find there. This is a delightful view
Oct 12, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Megan by: 3rd grade and up
These are not the acrostics from elementary school! These poems would be poetic even without the acrostic element, and the acrostic isn't always predictable. For instance, in the poem about the ostrich, the first letter of each line spells out "FEATHERLY ADVICE." Students may not find the wit in these poems on their own, but with a little guidance they will appreciate the poetry and maybe be inspired to try their own.
Nov 06, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
What may at first seem a simple book of acrostics and photographs reveals much more on closer inspection. Many of the acrostics contain multiple word games, including messages written diagonally or with the final letters in addition to the initial. Even without the patterns, the poetry is good. Be sure to read the photographers’ note describing her experience on safari to take the photos.
Dec 28, 2009 Ginger rated it really liked it
These are not just clever acrostics; they are also good, solid poems, accompanied by good, crisp photos of the wildlife represented in the poems. An author's note explains the varying forms acrostics can take; and a glossary of the animals gives a short paragraph of information about each of them. All in all, a very satisfying book of peotry for children.
Catherine Johnson
Jan 06, 2011 Catherine Johnson rated it really liked it
I'm thrilled to share this book with you, it is as aesthetically pleasing as it is informative in the art of Acrostic poetry. And simple enough for newbies to learn while looking at some great pictures of safari animals.
Dec 16, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely read for poets everywhere! Love the photography and the intricate poetry.
Mary Librarian
Feb 14, 2010 Mary Librarian rated it really liked it
Acrostic poems with terrific pictures of African animals.
Meg McGregor
May 16, 2013 Meg McGregor rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-lexi
A great and fun way to introduce acrostic poetry to littles and have them learn about african animals at the same time.
Apr 06, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing
The photographs are lovely and the poems are very clever and fun. This book would be great for poetry units or simply for reading and enjoying.
Kate Hastings
Jul 09, 2012 Kate Hastings rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Grades 2-6. Rich language and animal-focused. Great for 5th grade poetry unit. All acrostics.
Nov 02, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
A beautiful collection of photographs and acrostic poetry. The perfect example of this form of poetry for elementary school collections.
Grade: 2-3, possibly 4-5
Topic: classification of animals (native to Africa)
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Wow! Beautiful pictures and really well done poems in acrostics format...unique.
Burton19 rated it liked it
Nov 28, 2012
Pamela rated it it was ok
Sep 02, 2010
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Oct 20, 2012
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Dec 14, 2011
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Jan 24, 2011
Kate rated it it was ok
Apr 17, 2012
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Apr 04, 2010
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Avis Harley has written several books of poetry for children, including THE MONARCH'S PROGRESS: POEMS WITH WINGS. She lives in Vancouver.

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