Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Behind the Books: Just the Right Word, Part 3

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how my friend Susan Richmond helped me understand the underpinnings of lyrical text. In a nutshell, the anatomical structure of our ears combined with the physical laws of sound wave transmission combine forces to make certain combinations of sounds and syllables are particularly pleasing to our ear. That’s why devices like alliteration, rhythm, and repetition can give a piece of writing a magical quality.

Here are some examples of lyrical books that focus on natural history topics.

Vulture View by April Pulley Sayre
The sun is rising.
Up, up.
It heats the air.
Up, up.

Wings stretch wide
to catch a ride
on warming air.
Going where?

Up, up.

Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights by Debbie S. Miller

The sun’s arc drops lower as the top of the world angles away from its source of heat.

White sky and earth create flat light, and it is hard to see where land ends and sky begins.

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart
In the heart of winter, a deep layer of snow blankets fields and forests, ponds and wetlands.

You spend your days sledding and skating and having snowball fights.

But under the snow lies a hidden world.

Can you think of other books with beautiful lyrical language? If so, please share them in the comments section.

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