Friday, February 9, 2018

Earth Verse - Haiku from the Ground Up {Poetry Friday}

Author Sally M. Walker
Illustrator William Grill
Candlewick Press, 2018
review copy provided by the publisher

Earth Verse - Haiku from the Ground Up is stunning and available February 13th.  I was so surprised by the amount of geological information shared via haiku form.  This past summer I spent some time writing haiku myself and was stuck using a 5-7-5 syllable because that is what I grew up this was the form for haiku.  A kind poetry friend suggested I could be fluid with my syllable form and I was a little surprised.  I wish I had this book as a mentor text because the syllable format is short and flexible line by line.  

I'm really intrigued with nonfiction poetry lately and this piece is my new favorite.  Three short lines are jammed packed with factual information.  The vocabulary is rich with geological words along with poetic form of comparisons.  I just have to share an example with you.

fragile outer crust.
shell around mantle and core --
Earth:  a hard-boiled egg

At first I thought the illustrations were done in chalk but they aren't.  They are done with colored pencils.  Making this a great illustrative mentor text because colored pencils are an easy accessible medium for every child.  Another illustrative feature I hope all readers discover is the symbol in the bottom right corner replacing page numbers.  The symbols help organize the poems into landform categories and the back of the book gives the reader more information about these landforms.  

Thank you Sally at for hosting Poetry Friday this week.


  1. Yes - I've been on a nonfiction poetry kick too recently, so I'm going to snap this one up as soon as I'm back to the library next week!!

  2. Looks like a great book. I'm always trying to improve my haiku. I broke the syllable shackle I was taught, also, but there are so many rules!

  3. I love books like this one! I am going to try to get a copy. Thanks for this recommendation.

  4. Thanks, Mandy, for a great review of Sally Walker's "Earth Verse" and sharing ideas for its use as a mentor text. I too an interested in nonfiction poetry... I'm a fan of Joyce Sidman.

  5. I just read about this book over at Mary Lee's blog today. It looks fabulous! I love that so much poetry is sharing science information with readers.

  6. Lookie there! We both shared this book today...with some same and some different take-aways!

  7. As Mary Lee wrote, she shared, too, looks like a must for me! Thanks, Mandy!

  8. Both you and Mary Lee have convinced me that this is definitely a book for my classroom library. Thanks for sharing, Mandy!

  9. This is the second review I've read of this book, and makes me want it even more. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I love the poem you selected, and I can't wait to read the book!