Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Trailblazers: Poems of Exploration by Bobbi Katz

I'm not a big poetry reader. It's simply not my first choice when I look for a new book to read. But THIS book by Bobbi Katz had me absolutely enthralled! Katz has researched and put to verse the experiences of explorers dating back to Adam and Eve ("The First Explorers"), all the way up to the roving robots, Spirit and Opportunity. The majority of poems are in 1st person, but many are from the point of view of someone who was with the explorer. For example, some of Genghis Khan's experiences are shared through "Jebe" and "Subed", two of Khan's commanders. Katz gives equal time to women as she does to men. We hear from well know female explorers, such as Sally Ride, and also from women who don't necessarily get credit for the exploration itself, but were present, nonetheless. For example, Florence Baker, wife of Sir Samuel Baker, who is known for his explorations to find the source of the Nile back in the mid 1800's, was right there by his side as he explored, but doesn't get much credit, except for Katz's poem! The poetry varies in lengths and styles and there are small illustrations throughout done by Carin Berger. Katz also includes short bio's at the end of the book, so if you want a little more information on Sylvia Earle, Egeria, Zheng He, or Robert Peary, (do you know any of those people or what they explored?) it's there. Pick up this book in the 800's in the nonfiction section of the Children's department. It's great and you'll love it!

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