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Zola, Meguido
Toronto, Copp Clark Pitman, 1990. 128pp, paper, $9.34, ISBN 0-7730-4703-4. (Poetry Plus, Collections I series).


Zola, Meguido
POETRY PLUS II Toronto, Copp Clark Pitman, 1990. 128pp, paper, $9.34, ISBN 0-7730-4704-2. (Poetry Plus, Collections II series).

Grades 4 to 6 / Ages 9 to 11

Reviewed by Ian Dempsey

Volume 18 Number 5
1990 September

Each volume is the same length (approximately 130 pages) and is set up in the same manner: fifteen sections or "collections" on a theme, e.g. growing up. Mom and Dad, in trouble. Each section is arranged the same way: "Getting Read/' a page of introduction, with suggested preparatory exercises such as "make a list..." for doing alone, with a partner, or with the whole class; "The Collection" four pages of poems by well-known and little-known poets; and "After You've Read the Collection" two pages of follow-up activities for doing alone, in a small group, with a partner, or with a whole class (read, re-read, share, perform, brainstorm, etc.).

The first section is "What's a Poem, Anyway?" This is the sort of introduction that Robin Williams in the film The Dead Poets Society would have his students rip from the text. Poetry Plus, though, is for elementary school, where students might be more in need of these guided tours around the poetry universe. It is a universe, for the poems are from all corners. There are short haiku, long monologues, lots of bright humour, and some black holes of sadness, The large size pages, 8" x 10", and the large, well-spaced text will invite browsing, if not serious study. There are fine and varied illustrations, some worth almost the hundred words of a poem.


Ian Dempsey, Cambridge, Ont.

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