Bow-Tie Pasta: Acrostic Poems

Brian P. Cleary (Author) Andy Rowland (Illustrator)
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Product Details

$7.99  $7.35
Millbrook Press (Tm)
Publish Date
August 01, 2015
6.6 X 0.2 X 8.8 inches | 0.2 pounds
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About the Author

Brian P. Cleary is the author of the Words Are CATegorical(R), Math Is CATegorical(R), Food Is CATegorical(TM), and Animal Groups Are CATegorical(TM) series, as well as several picture books. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

While studying for a degree in Manchester, Andy Rowland accepted his first drawing award, the MacMillan Children's Book Prize. Years later, he has more than twenty published books to his name. He lives in England.


"After a brief description of acrostic poetry, Cleary jumps right into the more than two dozen selections, which, apart from their structure, don't share a common theme. The poems range from sentimental ('Mom, you're there with / Outstretched arms, / To nurture, love, and guide me') to jokey (what did the catfish and elephant couple give birth to after their wedding? 'Swimming trunks') but they all offer approachable inspiration for young aspiring poets. The short poems, only a few of which follow a rhyme scheme or meter, are well matched by the colorful cartoon pictures, which illustrate each acrostic and make for breezy browsing. While some of the assertions are a bit strange--since when is India in Southeast Asia?--the overall light tone and friendly approach to an easy-to-replicate form of poetry make this a good addition to school poetry collections, for both studying types of poems and as a kick-start to creative writing efforts. A list of further reading, including both print and online resources, closes out the volume."--Booklist


"Cleary's latest poetry title provides an excellent entry point for budding poets. The collection kicks off with 'What Is an Acrostic?, ' a succinct overview of the poetic form accompanied by tips on how to get started writing. The subjects of Cleary's poems run the gamut from the titular bow-tie pasta to Kansas to pirates to lacrosse. Though the topics are straightforward, the selections themselves are often playfully sophisticated and witty. In 'Jokes, ' Joe, an elephant, marries Olivia, a catfish, who soon thereafter gives birth to swimming trunks. Both the text and Rowland's illustrations are light and silly, perfect for young poets. Back matter lists books and websites where aspiring bards can find inspiration, writing tips, and further practice. VERDICT: An extremely useful tool for teachers or librarians looking to breathe life into a poetry unit."--School Library Journal


"Humorous acrostic poems are the focus of this addition to the Poetry Adventures series, following books about haiku, concrete poems, and limericks. More than two dozen poems celebrate everything from locations (Kansas, India) to colors (yellow, purple) and animals (triceratops, spider), suggesting that poetic inspiration can come from just about anywhere. 'Tiny beads of water suggest your steamy essence, ' reads an offbeat tribute to the hotdog, while the lines of a more serious-minded poem spell out the word mother: 'Mom, you're there with/ Outstretched arms, / To nurture, love, and guide me.' Full of silly moments, Rowland's cartoons are as approachable as Cleary's rhymes, making this a fine, funny lead-in to readers' own acrostic explorations."--Publishers Weekly


"Master punster Cleary and illustrator Rowland again join forces (Something Sure Smells Around Here, 2015, etc.) to explore a light poetic form. Even before the fourth volume in the Poetry Adventures series gets going, Rowland's cheeky illustration of an island castaway finding a bottle with jumbled letters spelling 'acrostics' in it effectively conveys the message-in-a-bottle thematic sense of this poetic form. Much like a whodunit that starts with a body in the library, the acrostic poem makes no bones about revealing its subject. As Cleary explains, they are arranged so that 'the first letter of each line forms a word or words when read vertically, ' and then 'words or phrases built off that first letter help describe that subject.' The collection's more successful poems shy away from listing descriptor after descriptor, as in 'Yellow' or 'Snack Time.' 'Teachers' creates an inspiring portrait: 'They are the superheroes who show up / Each and every day, not just when some special signal or / Alarm is activated.... / ... / Saving more lives than all those cape-wearing showoffs combined.' 'Poem' captures the challenge of the form with a joke: 'Poppies are red. / Orchids are blue. / Ever rhyme stuff? / Man, it's really hard.' Throughout, Rowland's brightly detailed illustrations neatly capture Cleary's playful tone and whatever pun's to be had. Entertaining and spirited, though nothing subtle about this wily collection of puzzler poems."--Kirkus Reviews