A Strange Place to Call Home


Singer brings her signature style of vivid language and precise poetry forms to this collection about animals that live in dangerous habitats. While some kids can tell you everything about the zebra or the tiger, others are committed to learning about far stranger creatures. The anglerfish is always popular, as is the electric eel. Singer has created a book to aid those children who live for the moment when they spout a fact and their friends respond “Whaaat? They do what? They live where?”

Singer uses poetry forms such as the triolet, haiku, sonnet and villanelle to give information about a list of animals just as diverse. From the Humbolt penguin to the ice worm to camel, these creatures live in habitats all over the world, all of them dangerous places where you need special skills to survive. At the back are further notes about each species, as well as a note about the poetry forms. As a teacher, I love using poetry to teach science because all the information is there, but not up front. You have to read carefully and think about the language in order to understand that the flamingos eat shrimp from the salt lakes. Singer’s poems are perfect to read if you want to learn a little about the fascinating species of our planet.


A Strange Place to Call Home by Marilyn Singer, Chronicle Books, $16.99


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