Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Boat of Stars new poems to inspire and enchant edited by Margaret Connolly and Natalie Jane Prior

Poetry is language at its most distilled 
and most powerful.  Rita Dove

Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal 
down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.  Don Marquis

Two of my most treasured books on my own shelves are The Random House Book of Poetry (Originally called The Walker book of Poetry)  and Beetle Soup (later called And the Roo jumped over the Moon).  I am always keen to share the poetry book treasures from my school library with staff and students.

Late last year I was given a generous book voucher for a local bookstore so I headed down today to pick up some books. The staff showed me A Boat of Stars and even a cursory glance showed me this was a special title.  I immediately added it to my basket along with Marsh and Me (2018 CBCA Short listed title) and Wings of Fire Book One which was one of the most popular books in my school library last year. It is certainly time for me to catch up on this series.

A Boat of Stars contains sixty poem.  The editors used a core team of five illustrators and then invited others and gave  them specific poems.  There is a profile of each contributor at the back of the book and there you will see some very famous Australian names such as Julie Vivas, Kerry Argent, Stephen Michael King, Sophie Masson and Margaret Wild.  You can also see Lesley Gibbes, Cheryl Orsini, Sara Acton, Alexa Moses, Tamsin Ainslie, Matt Shanks, Natalie Jane Prior and Lisa Stewart who have each provided many poems and illustrations to this book.

I also really appreciate the thematic index which shows topics such as Friendship, Imagination, Nature, Clothes, Indigenous Culture and more.

Here is a set of teaching notes with ideas for Reader's Theatre and other ways to explore this anthology including links to web sites for each contributor.  Here is an interview with Natalie Jane Prior and Margaret Connolly.  Megan Daley talks about this book here.

Here is one of the poems I enjoyed:

Cows do not Dance by Elizabeth Nussey

The gazelle leaps and bounds and kicks,
but cows do not dance.
The flamingo steps from foot to foot
but cows do not dance.
The fox frolics through the trees
but cows do not dance.

Tigers tap dance,
dolphins disco,
porcupines polka,
ferrets fandango - 
but cows do not dance.

Only this one wants to.

A gorgeous poetry collection for any bookshelf. Kids' Book Review

Being able to tell a story in just a few words and even fewer lines is a gift that few have but to the listener/reader it highlights the beauty of our language and shows how it is possible to make every word work hard to stir the brain and the heart The Bottom Shelf

Here is a wonderful window display:

1 comment:

Matt Shanks said...

So glad you're enjoying the book as much we all did making it. Cows do not dance is a favourite of mine also. :-) Happy reading!