Using over 30 of her own poems as a guide, Sara Holbrook teaches readers how to present poetry with rhythm, movement and a strong voice in Wham! It's a Poetry Jam: Discovering Performance Poetry, with a foreword by Jane Yolen. Much of her advice is geared to teachers; guidelines and advice for organizing a poetry "wham" appear midway.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Grade 2-5-The author of Walking on the Boundaries of Change (1998) and The Dog Ate My Homework (1997, both Boyds Mills) presents some of her poems along with tips on how to perform them. She explains how to move, how to put emotion behind the words, and how to make rhythm affect the performance in notes at the beginning of each poem, and occasionally in short, chatty captions at the end. Her instructions are easy to follow, although they often feel like lessons ("Can you think of some achy-breaky movements to put with this poem?"). She's also not consistent in the way she talks about voice projection-in two places she mentions volume or loudness, while later she explains that it's actually the strength of the voice, not its volume, that carries. The poems themselves vary in appeal, as they range from the goofy ("The dog ate my homework. You've heard that before? This one ate the table, then chewed through the door") to the righteous ("I'm not on your track, and my whistle is fixin' to scream. I'm warning you, Jack. Peer pressure just makes me get steamed"). Though not illustrated, the book has an inviting, colorful design with stars and spirals in pastels all over each page and text set on blocks of color, matching the energy in Holbrook's voice. Some readers will find this offering too teacherly and "for kids," but younger poets and adults may enjoy her suggestions on how to produce a poetry jam.
Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.