And Then There Were Eight: Poems About Space

 

I wanted to blog just a little bit about each of my Capstone poetry books as I get my author copies. Each had its own joys and challenges (some more so than others!). I shared my basic process in an earlier post.

Here are a few tidbits just about this title.

Then There Were Eight: Poems About Space was my fourth book in the series, so Jenny Marks and I had a pretty good routine down by then. The photos were just stunning, and I enjoyed doing the research on the various space phenomena. My dad worked at NASA for his entire career, and space exploration and space science are fascinating to me.

I remember one thing that I questioned was that I didn’t have images of all the planets. I think there are poems about 4 or maybe 5 of them in the book. I asked Jenny about it, and she explained that, with only 15 or 16 poems in the book, they didn’t want 8 of them to be of planets. I think it would be too many similar photos. Not enough variety. Also, these books are for young kids and they were wanting the book to inspire them to learn more, to be excited about space. The book didn’t need to serve as an encyclopedic reference of them. Of course, she was right. But it still bothered my slightly compulsive, completist, list-loving self to showcase only some of the planets!

For the first time in the series, we used captions here to explain the images. This had been my request. I felt that without them, each poem would basically have to name and define for young kids whatever was shown in the image. That would get old and non-poetic very quickly!

Here are a few poems from the book. The images shown are not the ones from the book. They’re just similar, to give you an idea of what the poem is about. I hope you like them!

Great Red Spot

It’s not a huge red ocean
It’s not a desert form
It’s twice as big as Planet Earth
And it’s a great red storm

It’s been around three hundred years
It’s still around today
According to the weatherman
This storm is here to stay

     (at least until some future day
     still centuries away!)

Caption: The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is actually a giant hurricane.

Then There Were Eight

Poor ball of ice, we know you exist; but you’re
Little and solid and we must insist on
Undoing the past, so though you’ll be missed, we’ve
Taken you 
Off of the “real planet” list

Caption: Pluto was removed from the list of planets in 2006.

Here, Girl!

She rolls
   and roams
      and wags her tail
She never needs to see the vet

I love her
   silver
      shiny coat
She’s my planetary pet!

Caption: The mars Lander explores Mars.

 

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