Thursday, January 29, 2009

Poetry Friday

The Wise Woman and Her Secret

Schools were closed for two days this week due to snow and ice. I love these days because everything slows down. With the hectic schedules we all keep, it's a gift to have time to sit, look out the window and enjoy the view.

The brilliant poet, Eve Merriam, knew how important it is to take time to look closely at the world around us. In her book, The Wise Woman and Her Secret, she teaches us to do just that.

The story tells about a woman who was so wise, people from many villages to learn her secret. They believed that if the woman would reveal the secret of her wisdom, they would gain great fortunes. But, the wise woman tells them they must discover it for themselves. They begin their search but to no avail.

Little Jenny lags behind picking up pebbles, gazing at a spiderweb, and examining a tarnished penny. The others have no time for such things as they frantically continue their search. Only Jenny will find the wise woman's secret.

Eve Merriam's use of sensory language and literary elements (alliteration, simile, repetition, etc.) makes this book a great choice for teachers who use picture books to teach writing. There are so many wonderful images, a few of my favorite images include:
"Her eyes were bright as blackberries..."

"...dark hair that was streaked with white like patches of snow on the muddy spring ground."

"...they climbed and they clambered..."

"branches flowering and floating in summer..."

Linda Graves' enchanting illustrations paired with Eve Merriman's wonderful story makes Wise Woman and Her Secret a book readers of all ages will enjoy.


  1. Hi Kelly, it really is a wonderful book that I come back to again and again.