Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Chant Poem

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

There is nothing to skip in Trout, Trout, Trout! (A Fish Chant) by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Trip Park (NorthWord, 2004).

April Pulley Sayre was recommended to me by my poetry teacher, Laura Salas, while I attended her online class, because one of the poems I had submitted for critique, she said, felt like it could be either a list poem or a chant poem. And as every writer knows the best way to learn is to read.

Unfortunately, my library did not have any of Ms. Sayre’s chant books. They had lots of her non-fiction work, though. So I did the next best thing I ordered one online. And, I loved it so much I just might have to add another to my library of children’s books.

In Trout, Trout, Trout! Sayre has done amazing things with rhyme and rhythm using fresh water fish names found in North America. I never knew there were fish called Gar, Shad, Loach, or Yazoo Darter. The words jump off the page as do some of the fish in Trip Parks magnificent artwork.

I don’t have a most favourite chant but here’s the first page:

Threespine Stickleback,
Freshwater Drum.
Lake Chub, Creek Chub,

Trip Park has captured fish face personalities. Even the added dragonfly, bear, and worms dangling on hooks have been given their own persona.

There is also a glossary describing each fish she used in her book.

A great book for children (and adults, too). Fun to read, fun to look at, something to learn, and nothing to skip. Can’t beat that!

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