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African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways
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African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  18 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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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
Bridget R. Wilson
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
Mar 17, 2011 Yael rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Barb Dean
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
Apr 04, 2012 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
A beautiful collection of photographs and acrostic poetry. The perfect example of this form of poetry for elementary school collections.
Meg McGregor
A great and fun way to introduce acrostic poetry to littles and have them learn about african animals at the same time.
This is a lovely read for poets everywhere! Love the photography and the intricate poetry.
Kate Hastings
Grades 2-6. Rich language and animal-focused. Great for 5th grade poetry unit. All acrostics.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Wow! Beautiful pictures and really well done poems in acrostics format...unique.
Grade: 2-3, possibly 4-5
Topic: classification of animals (native to Africa)
Feb 14, 2010 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Acrostic poems with terrific pictures of African animals.
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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.

More about Avis Harley...
Fly with Poetry: An ABC of Poetry The Monarch's Progress: Poems with Wings Leap Into Poetry: More ABCs of Poetry Sea Stars: Saltwater Poems

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