An Old Shell by Tony Johnston
Poems of the Galapagos

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Synopsis

Poems in contemplation of an ecological treasure.

"When you stand in this place, wild and vast and stark, looking out over the endless and shining skin of the sea, you hear the flutter and roar of Creation, feel the stir of your own beginnings upon the delicate chain of life. Here, you are at the core of the mystery and poetry of Nature." So writes Tony Johnston, who visited the Galapagos Islands in 1995, in her eloquent author's note. This is her collection of thirty-four lyrical poems starring the wonderful islands and their unique inhabitants -- from the long-horned grasshopper to the rice rat -- and accompanied by naturalistic drawings by Tom Pohrt.
 

About Tony Johnston

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Tony Johnston is the author of over 100 books for children, including The Barn Owls and The Harmonica. She lives in California.Christine Davenier has illustrated many books for children, including It's Raining, It's Pouring and The Very Fairy Princess. She lives in Paris, France.
 
Published October 8, 1999 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 64 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Spun from a 1995 visit, these 34 short poems are largely meditations on the wildlife of the Gal†pagos Islands and their past: after a long voyage, a rice rat arrives on a tangle of floating vines, a tall flamingo “drinks from its/cool green reflection,” a Sally Lightfoot crab comes “skibbling ove...

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Publishers Weekly

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Garcia's complex, mixed-media dioramas give considerable heft to Johnston's quiet tale about a Mexican woman enjoying the birds in her garden.

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Sometimes Johnston's images are rich and evocative, as in the closing ""Gal pagos"": ""Hold this place/ gently/ like an old shell./ Hold it/ to your ear./ Hear the song that sings/ inside--/ splash of fish/ flutter of finch/ rustle of salt/ wind/ lava hissing/ in wet sand/ and the echo of lonelin...

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