The Children's Book Compass

Metaphors in An Egret’s Day

Posted on: February 19, 2010

An Egret’s Day: Poems by Jane Yolen.  Photographs by Jason Stemple.  (2010)   Wordsong.  32 pages.  Grades 2 and up.  Poetry.

Teachers often ask me to suggest books that feature metaphors.  Now I have a new title to recommend.  Jane Yolen’s newest book offers fourteen lovely poems about the egret, some with elegant metaphors.  Here is an excerpt from “Great Egret.”

The Great Egret’s wings

are like fresh sheets

hung out upon a line;

its neck is a telescope;

beak as sharp and fine

as a fisherman’s gutting knife;

legs thin dark stalks,

sprung wires, steel skewers.

Yolen is a careful observer and her poems help the reader learn more about the bird.  Here is a sample from the poem, “Some Feet.”

The Great Egret’s  splayed feet walk easily

In water and on land,

Yet strong enough for clinging,

As mobile as a hand.

Stemple’s full–colored photographs of the egret illustrate the poems, some showing close-ups of details mentioned in the poems.  Each poem is also accompanied by a short paragraph with factual information about the egret.  Yolen and Stemple, mother and son, have collaborated on many other books of poetry illustrated by photographs.  Check them out!

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Pointing the Direction to New Books for Children and Teens

Marilyn Carpenter, PhD.

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