"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tanka-poetry Reviews

Thanks to Lark Writes for giving me the inspiration to write short, poetic book reviews. Hers are called Haiku Reviews. I'll make mine a little longer and call them tanka-poetry reviews. Similar to haikus, tanka poems are short, using only 31-syllables in the cadence pattern of 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. All of these tanka-poem reviews are for illustrated or graphic novels.

Cicada written and illustrated by Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2019.)

Cicada tells tale.
Good story. Simple story.
Seventeen years of
work, work, work. Retires at last.
Flies off to forest, free bug.

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Versify Books, 2019.)

Poem is love letter
 and tribute to black life in 
our America.
Slavery, civil rights; grit, 
perseverance, heroes, hope.

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees written and illustrated by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018.)

Civil war rages.
Syrians flee bullets, bombs.
No place to call home.
World turns its back on them.
Millions of them--unwanted

Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir by Robin Na (Balzar + Bray, 2020.)

Teen Korean girl
Moved to Alabama with
Mom. Knows no English.
School torture--wants to go home.
Makes friend who likes to draw, too.



  1. Very impressive to do poetry for your reviews! I still want to read Undefeated.

    1. Yes. Read Undefeated. The illustrations are fabulous.

  2. Wow! Creative! I bet these took longer to write than a full prose review. I’m not a graphic novel fan, but I enjoyed these poems very much.

    1. I am not sure how much of a "review" the tanka-poems are but I enjoyed crystallizing the information down to the bare minimum.

  3. Love these! What a perfect way to review these graphic novels. :D


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