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Reviewed by Ryan Jordan for Readers' Favorite
Governess: Poetry & illustration by Kass Ghayouri consists of several different sections with poems written for different purposes. Some of them are for children, and others are for academic or personal reasons. It starts off with poems about William Shakespeare and Nelson Mandela, and we can tell right away just how lofty the author's intentions are with this volume. In general, the poems feel descriptive of a task or person: for example, in Newspaper Article, each line is a step-by-step walk through of how to write an article. This is followed with a poem entitled A Summary, which is literally a walk through of how to write a summary. The quality of the work goes up when we reach the Children's Poetry section, and I rather enjoyed many of these.
The use of personal pictures for each poem helps to bring them to life, and often I found myself studying the pictures as much as the poems. They are beautiful in a sketchbook sort of way, often with layers of depth. The poems also have a lot of depth, and some of them have a sing-song quality to them that makes them really interesting. Life can be a Struggle! feels like a quick rap song and almost seems like it would fit over simple music very easily. The positive messages throughout the volume make it a very enjoyable read, even if there are some missteps along the way. Governess: Poetry & illustration by Kass Ghayouri has some excellent poems, but the illustrations are even better.