Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I saw a Peacock

"I saw a peacock with a fiery tail
I saw a blazing comet drop down hail
I saw a cloud with ivy circled round
I saw a sturdy oak creep on the ground
.  .  . "
Ramsingh Urvel chose to illustrate this lovely and puzzling 
poem written in 17th century England to create a book
that may have special appeal for children with autism.
First of all, it rhymes.
Next, the illustrations combine simple and complex
elements in an interesting way that intrigues those
who like to study lines and repetitive patterns. 
Lastly, the whole poem is a play on words. 
The illustrations include strategically placed holes, 
which are both fun and a bit problematic for some
readers. Don't get this one if ripping a page bothers
you or your child.
The illustrations present puzzles of their own. 
Despite their simple black/white contrast and
simple outlines, they contain complicated 
repeating patterns. The shaped holes reveal
portions of both text and pictures.
From the description inside:
"Even the youngest of readers will delight in
The overturning of logic, and the 'trick' with
which meaning can be made to return . . .
Is the difference between fantasy and reality
largely grammatical?"


  1. Interesting - the illustrations look potentially migraine-inducing for me but that probably indicates they will fascinate some...

    1. Astute and accurate observation - the level of detail within the drawings is astounding, this will fascinate some and overwhelm others. I'm reminded of differences in how kids doodle . . .