Work Title: Castles: Old Stone Poems
Work Author(s): J. Patrick Lewis and Rebecca Kai Dotlich; Dan Burr, illustrator
17 oil-painted illustrations, 48 pages, Hardcover $18.95
Children's Picture Book
Reviewer: Carolyn Bailey
Castles capture the human imagination. They serve as backdrops for historic events and springboards for otherworldly adventures, as well as monuments to some of the most famous names in history. In this offering, sixteen poems inspired by famous castles from around the world enliven the legends and events associated with each structure, setting a scene that will whet the reader's appetite for historical detail.
The featured castles run the spectrum of time and geography, from Bodiam Castle, which saw the Normans invade England in 1066, to Hearst Castle, built by the famous American businessman in 1919. In short poems (four to six stanzas), the authors capture the essence of each castle's history. Sometimes architecture is the focus, as in Japan's Himeji Castle, whose "windows pierce the sky like hushed haiku." Other poems feature people from history, rulers like Catherine the Great and King Henry VIII, or shadowy legends like the monster who lends his name to Romania's Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle, "open these doors, drink in the view."
Both authors are accomplished poets, with numerous credits in magazines and children's publishing. Lewis is the better...