Title: Doodle Dandies
Illustrator: Lisa Desimini
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 28
Pub. Date: 1998
Summary: This is a collection of poems that ‘take shape.’ They are many poems about nature and animals. There are also some about sports and people as well. All of the poems have unique shape to them and have illustrations to go along with them. Some specific examples include a synchronized swim team with words along the waves and a butterfly with the words around the wings.
Critique: This book of poetry is a wonderful representation of poetry with shape. All of the poems are enhanced by their shape and many of the words create the object or animal that they are describing. A great example and one of my favorites in the book is one about a bull frog. The words in the poem create a snake with a big bulge in his stomach where the frog would be if he were eaten. The poem wouldn’t be as vivid and visual if it weren’t for the shape of the poem. It creates a whole new element and depth to the poetry. Another example is a poem about basketball that has a basketball in different stages of going into the hoop and the basketball makes up the letter ‘o’ in all of the words or phrases and the final one is the word two with the basketball as the ‘o’ because a completed basket makes two points.
Response: In this book I really like how the illustrator uses the illustrations to enhance the poems even more. They are beautifully done and compliment the shape poems really well. For example, the shape poem that I mentioned about the snake and the bull frog has a swamp scene around it with water, grass and another snake in the illustration so you get the full effect of the poem. It can
After reading the book Doodle Dandies and talking about the elements of a poem with the element of shape included, have students go outside and get inspiration to create their own shape poems. Have them think about the many different possibilities in nature and with animals that they could write about. Bring clipboards so that students can jot down ideas for their poem while they are anywhere outside. Once they have completed a poem have them create and illustrate their own shape poem and present it to the class. Students that finish early could even attempt to illustrate their poem on the computer like this!