Thursday, February 17, 2011

Poetry Book Review: "Multicultural Poetry"


Mora, Pat, and Rafael López. 2007. Yum! mmmm! qué rico!: Americas' sproutings. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc. ISBN: 978154302711.


Pat Mora uses one haiku for each poem; each haiku describes a specfic food that is native to the Americas. Mora brilliantly uses food to show multicultural poetry.

These foods include blueberry, chile, chocolate, corn, cranberry, papaya, peanut, pecan, pineapple, potato, prickly pear, pumpkin, tomato and vanilla. In addition, with each food hiaku is a passage describing the origins of the food and unique facts. These passages are beneficial for teachers and parents that would want to enhance the understandings of a particular food.

This poetry book is a great example of multicultural poetry because it displays spanish words with english words. These include "la cocina"(kitchen), "los dulces"(sweets), "la luna"(moon) and "que rico"(delicious). Including these words creates a mystery for some children and teaches them new words.

While there is no appearant rhyme, Mora uses consonance and alliteration throughout some of her haiku. For example, "thick prickly skin, inside". This makes each haiku fun to recite and easy to read for children. Mora's literary techniques when writing about food create a great visual imagery.

The illustrations by Rafael Lopez are very vivid and convey a message of happiness. These bright images mixed with haiku about food welcomes a joyous reaction with children.

Poem: "Peanut"

Smear nutty butter,
then jelly. Gooey party,
my sandwich and me.

Introducing the Poem:

Mora uses alliteration and consonance in this particular poem with "nutty butter" and "jelly. Gooey party". She takes the poem about peanuts and translates it into something a child would recognize: a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich.

The passage on the side states how peanuts dervive from South America along with other facts. It also indicates that March is National Peanut Mouth. Introducing this poem during March would be a great way to show the poem.

Other foods within this book correspond to National Month celebrations. This particular poem could be introduced at the beginning of March when children are celebrating different aspects of the month. I would recite the poem and talk about food to the children.

There are many poems about food in this book that could be introduced to cihldren before a social studies lesson. I would also read one with a few spanish words and then translate the words for them. By introducing the poetry this way, it would be a great segway to learning other spanish words or social studies topics.

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