Newbery Project – Dark Emperor

I was shocked at how much I enjoyed reading this book, a Newbery Honor winner from 2011. Poetry can be very hit or miss with me, and poetry written specifically with children in mind…well, let’s just say that there are far more misses. But I found Joyce Sidman’s verse to be lovely and lyrical. The stanzas scanned well, with rhythms that flowed easily and perfectly. I also very much appreciated that each poem was of a different verse type. I’m sure if I knew more about poetry I would be able to name each type, but as it is I’m just pleased with myself that I recognized that certain elements (like repeating the word primrose over and over) were elements of specific poetry types. I enjoyed this book more than Joyful Noise, which I liked, but largely for its novel use of two voices. This was another nature-themed poetry selection, but this one, in my admittedly limited opinion, was far more, uh, poetic. The choice of words, the carefully selected formats, they all worked together to create a true work of poetry.


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