Cover image for Outside the lines : poetry at play
Outside the lines : poetry at play
Burg, Brad, 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2002.
Physical Description:
32 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.5 0.5 57958.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3552.U714125 O98 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Here are twenty-two "concrete" poems in motion! When it comes to poetry, why shouldn't words leave their sensible rows, like kids at recess, to run, jump and glide across the page? Of course playful poetry can get tricky, too. To share the fun, let your eyes play catch or tag or soccer. Follow the path of a Frisbee, paper airplane or firefly. Roll down a hill, blow a bubble or skip a stone. It's all here-from swings to slides, spring to fall, indoors and out. Told in the voices of children, these concrete poems rhyme and will be savored long after the trick is solved.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-9. Design, pictures, and words (in that order) work together in this playful concrete poetry, where the words jump all over the pages in shapes and arrangements that fit the subjects. When the poem is about flying kites, the one-word lines begin at the bottom of the page and reach up and high to the top. In «Frisbee,» the words are in a big circle. In «Softball,» each player in the double-page spread has a brief verse about the game. There's the same active visual focus in «Skipping,» «Hula Hoop,» «Paper Airplane,» and more. Of course, the words are not that important here. It's the clear, bright, detailed watercolor and colored-pencil pictures of kids in action that will have children pointing at the pages while adults read aloud. Hazel Rochman.

Publisher's Weekly Review

The poems in this high-energy debut collection mimic the shapes and forms of the children's games they celebrate. A poem about a girl on a swing follows her arc as she flies through the air, leaving a trail of words across the page; the poem "Tic-Tac-Toe" requires some knowledge of the game in order to follow the verse's flow (or else it teaches the rules as readers go along). First-time illustrator Gibbon's understated watercolor spreads and vignettes accent Burg's whimsy without overshadowing it. "Pin the Tail on the Donkey," for instance, shows only the guiding hands of the onlookers around the edges, together with a subtle sprinkling of balloons and confetti to imply a party atmosphere. In a tour-de-force, one of Burg's briefest poems puts words to the act of looking at sky and ground while rolling down a hill: "Green/ green/ blue/ blue/ green/ green/ blue/ blue/ dandelion!/ green/"; a dizzy boy lies at the bottom of the slope as his panting dog comes running. The adventurous verses try everything from kite-flying to castle-building. Young readers will identify with most, if not all of them, and will appreciate the way their experiences can be preserved on the page. Ages 5-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-A visually delightful book of concrete poems that celebrate playtime pursuits like swinging, Frisbee, and softball. The words glide, bounce, or are stacked over the page, reinforcing the movements and activities they describe. Full-page watercolors combine with small, decorative illustrations to create a playful impression. The poems range from a repetition of words ("Bubbles") to a story ("Sand Castle") to a collection of sensations ("Fireflies"). Some of them may be hard for kids to read on their own if they're worried about the correct sequence since the selections seem to jump all over the pages. Most of the time it doesn't matter. In "Softball," for example, team members are pictured out on the field, with a small verse next to each of them. Although the first letter of the pitcher's words is set in a noticeably larger font, indicating that readers should start there, they can start anywhere. Others are more visually confusing, but that seems to be the point, as the seemingly haphazard placement of words replicates the high energy of the playground. This collection is similar in approach to Joan Bransfield Graham's Flicker Flash (Houghton, 1999) and J. Patrick Lewis's Doodle Dandies: Poems That Take Shape (Atheneum, 1998). With many collections the oral experience is key; here it's the visual experience.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.