Books on The Blog: Digital Photography and Young Poets
by Linda Walker
New Year’s Eve 2016 my husband and I enjoyed the company of our two young grandchildren. My granddaughter brought along her digital camera to document the evening. She snapped photos of balloons, streamers, noise makers and Grandad wearing a silly hat and an even sillier expression. While driving to the local pizza parlor for our dinner, she and I stopped at several places to snap some more pictures: the local high school her mom attended, the water tower, and several nighttime shots of the Domino pizza sign just to verify that yes, we did eat something other than chips and dip. Later we talked about how much fun it was to go back and relive the night through her photos. Days after I began to think about how those captured digital moments could become the springboard for poetry writing. This idea led me to search for poetry books with photographs as a medium. And that is how I discovered April Pulley Sayre.
Her biography states that she is a children’s book author of over 65 natural history books for children and adults. One glance inside the covers of her two poetry books for young readers told me she was so much more. Striking images partner with short rhythmic rhymes and descriptive phrases.
Raindrops Roll poetically includes the reader in a rain storm. “ Rain is coming . You can
feel it in the air…Rain plops. It drops. It patters. It spatters.”
Best in Snow takes the reader on a snow journey as it “shows shapes…dusts wings…lands on a squirrel’s nose.”
The end pages of the book give the reader information about the topics as well as additional resources. These books share the natural world and poetry with young readers. They can become springboards for nature photography enriched with poetry.
Linda Walker was a teacher for 33 years with experience in several grade levels including teaching children with diverse learning abilities. She is a 2005 Fellow of the National Writing Project. For many summers Linda has facilitated writing specialty courses for the PAWLP Young Writers and Readers Program.