In addition to providing spectacular photographs of African wildlife including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, impalas and more, the poems include factual information about the animals, all in the form of acrostic poems - a form known by many teachers and children, and one that usually results in rather simplistic poems. Not so with Harley's work - she takes acrostics to a whole new level of clever.
To write an acrostic, you take a word (or phrase) and write it down the left-hand side of the page, then you start each line with the applicable letter. In the case of the poem entitled "A Croc Acrostic", the acrostic is the name of the profiled animal: "CROCODILE". Harley, however, got creative with other animals. The poem about the rhinoceros is not a 10-line poem based on the animal's name. Rather, it is a 16-line poem based on the acrostic "BEAUTY IN THE BEAST".
Interior spread showing the rhinoceros photo
The accompanying poem:
Moody GuyThe book includes fabulous back matter, including an explanation of what an acrostic is and how to write one as well as short, factual paragraphs on each of the species profiled in the book. A must-have for libraries, poetry lovers, and animal lovers - particularly those interested in the wildlife of Africa.
by Avis Harley
Boulders for shoulders,
Elegant horn --
A pointed reminder of the
Thick leg-pillars bruising tawny
In huge hide shoes,
This is a colossal
Earth's primeval swamp.
Even so, I know
A rhino when I
See one, and this is the time not