Irene Latham, author
Irene Latham has authored more than a dozen books. Winner of the 2016 ILA Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, her poetry books for children include Dear Wandering Wildebeest, When the Sun Shines on Antarctica, Fresh Delicious, and Can I Touch Your Hair? (co-written with Charles Waters). Irene lives near Birmingham, Alabama.
Read more about Irene.
Amy Huntington, illustrator
Amy Huntington has been illustrating children's books for twenty years. She illustrated Fresh-Picked Poetry as well as Grandma Drove the Garbage Truck, Grandma Drove the Snowplow, and Grandma Drove the Lobsterboat. Amy lives in Vermont.
Read more about Amy.
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Hail the divine number nine! Nine shines in this nonet anthology. A nonet is a nine-line poem about any subject and may rhyme but doesn’t have to. Heeding the syllables in a nonet’s lines is vital: The first line contains one syllable; each line thereafter adds one more in turn until the ninth line contains nine. However, this pattern can be reversed, and the offerings here reflect both counting schemes. Each nonet focuses on the number nine itself. “Before You Were Born” honors human gestation; “Nine Lives” salutes cats; “Play Ball!” refers to a baseball’s team’s nine players and the game’s nine innings. A few poems provide information: “The Little Rock Nine” nods to the landmark 1957 Arkansas school-integration effort; “Nonagon” introduces the nine-sided geometric shape; “Beethoven’s Ninth” highlights the composer’s last symphony. The anthology concludes with “The Whole Nine Yards,” a reminder that nine is the last one-digit numeral. As with many anthologies, the poems’ quality varies, though overall, they’re jaunty and read well. While most verses admirably demonstrate how cleverly poems can develop from strict adherence to form, some verses seem contrived in service to that principle. Colorful, lively Illustrations depict a robustly diverse ensemble cast. Interesting backmatter adds an additional gloss on each poem and further celebrates the number nine. Children may wish to compose nonets after delving into this unusual, entertaining collection.
School Library Journal
This colorful picture book of nonets (not to be confused with sonnets) features poems that incorporate the number nine. The lesser-known form of poetry is defined as “a nine-line poem in which the first line contains nine syllables; the next line, eight syllables; and so on until the last line has one syllable, or the reverse, with one syllable in the first line and nine in the last.” The poems spotlight baseball games, circuses, armadillos, and planets. The cadence of each poem and the familiarity of the topics make the title perfect as an introduction to poetry in the classroom. Huntington’s colorful watercolor illustrations illuminate the poems’ imagery and ground the words in reality. Huntington’s swirls of color and Latham’s words paint pictures that can be used across the curriculum and various disciplines. VERDICT This poetry collection can be a fun, alternative way of learning while building vocabulary and literary understanding. A good addition to a classroom library for elementary students.
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ISBN: 978-1-63289-881-4 EPUB
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Page count: 32
9 x 9