Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary, Intermediate
Author: Sally M. Walker
Illustrator: William Grill
Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up is a unique book of poetry that brings together both the left and right brain by marrying earth science with art. The book is filled with thoughtful haikus that cleverly describe phenomena like earthquake, fossils, and the water cycle. Each haiku is coupled with an impressionistic illustration by William Grill that, in many cases, further explains the science being described. The book ends with detailed descriptions of the earth sciences found in the poetry.
This book of beautiful poetry not only serves as an education tool for scientific learning, but as a gateway into the world of haiku. Although the haiku are lovely, they may be a bit difficult to understand for someone learning about these concepts for the first time. For that reason, the detailed explanations at the back of the book are a big selling point. Additionally, some of the words are quite advanced for the typical young reader of a picture book. It doesn’t feel like a book a child would pick up on their own and read time and time again, but could be a useful book in the classroom when learning about science, poetry or art. The impressionist illustrations are almost entirely done in red and blue pencil. This may not be appealing to some readers, as it can get a bit dull. Although the intended audience of this book isn’t necessarily clear, it’s a special book filled with descriptions of the Earth’s beauty and wonder.