KEEP A POCKET IN YOUR POEM

CLASSIC POEMS AND PLAYFUL PARODIES

A dozen classic poems, with Lewis’ playful revisions on the opposite pages.

The title poem is a reworking of Beatrice Schenk de Regniers’ “Keep a Poem in Your Pocket,” which touts the importance of imagination. The revision exalts the value of memories triggered by little objects—“red hawk feather, / silver penny, pinkie ring”—found in a pocket. Langston Hughes’ “Winter Sweetness” describes a snow-covered house as made of sugar. The revision, “Winter Warmth,” compares a book to a cup of hot cocoa on a frigid day. An excerpt from Jack Prelutsky’s “The Goblin” begins, “There’s a goblin as green / As a goblin can be.” Lewis begins “The Ogre” this way: “There’s an ogre as wide / As a flatbed truck.” He counters Robert Louis Stevenson’s two-line “Happy Thought” with a “Sleepy Thought”; David McCord’s “This is My Rock” becomes “This is My Tree.” Perhaps the cleverest revamping is that of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” In Lewis’ hands it becomes “Stopping by Fridge on a Hungry Evening.” (Said refrigerator is full of algae and mold and rotting food.) Lewis’ poems are a mixed bag—some come off poorly by comparison to their originals—but the book could provide wonderful inspiration for young would-be poets. Wright’s illustrations, in acrylic paint and ink on canvas, add much color, notably including the multiracial cast of children she depicts.

Clever. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-59078-921-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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From the peacock on the front cover to the daffodil on the back, this visual treat will inspire budding artists and poets.

BLOOMING BENEATH THE SUN

Adults who fondly remember “Who Has Seen the Wind?” will be delighted to introduce a new generation to some of Rossetti’s child-friendly poems.

Bryan brings fresh life to thirteen of the 19th-century British poet’s least dreary and most accessible poems. Vibrant blossoms on the inside covers hint at the fun inside. This is a celebration of nature and language crafted from cut construction paper. Bryan expands Rossetti’s metaphoric images with unconventional color choices that stretch the imagination. For example, the dog in “Pussy Has a Whiskered Face” is tan, pink, gray, and white, while kitty is all the colors of fire: orange, yellow, brown, and red. Human faces are not limited to shades of brown, black, or tan either. The detailed collages add layers of meaning to each short verse. The eight small collages that illustrate “Color” (at just 16 lines, the longest poem) clearly reference each couplet. Regardless of length, each poem is allotted a double spread. Less-familiar poems include “Mother Shake the Cherry Tree,” “Peacock Has a Score of Eyes,” and “Lie-a-Bed.” Carefully placed text guides readers’ eyes, and contrasting type colors help both titles and text stand out against the bright backgrounds.

From the peacock on the front cover to the daffodil on the back, this visual treat will inspire budding artists and poets. (biographical note) (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4092-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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Readers looking to strengthen their elementary Spanish or English vocabulary will appreciate this collection.

ARENAS Y TRINOS / SAND AND SONG

ABECEDARIO DEL RÍO / THE ABCS OF THE RIVER

Inspired by a camping trip to California’s Yuba River, mother-daughter duo Ada and Zubizarreta-Ada team up for a bilingual picture-book collection of poetry covering the ABCs of nature.

A collection of 29 poems—each one standing for a letter in the Spanish alphabet—takes readers on a nature-filled journey punctuated by glimpses of butterflies, hummingbirds, frogs, the Milky Way, pebbles, and more. For every Spanish poem there is a corresponding English translation. While the English alphabet consists of a solid 26 letters, Spanish has a few more, and through clever strategies, the co-authors incorporate most of them. For instance, “Niña de la trusa azul” is the vehicle for the letter “ñ” while the italicized English word in “Ventana o window” stands for the letter “w.” Like “ñ,” “rr” occurs in the middle of words; however, it does not get a poem. Every letter brings readers to a setting along the Yuba: evening campfires, cicadas chirping, toes dipped in water, a boulder island, forest, and sunsets. In Spanish, the poetry carries a lovely, lyrical, smooth, fluid, and rhythmic cadence; and on occasion the English pacing does not measure up. Utomo’s watercolors lend a dreamy quality to the warm browns and greens; readers will feel the sun’s warmth and hear the rippling waters.

Readers looking to strengthen their elementary Spanish or English vocabulary will appreciate this collection. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8 )

Pub Date: May 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-55885-899-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Piñata Books/Arte Público

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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