PLEASE BURY ME IN THE LIBRARY

In 16 poems, all but two appearing here for the first time, the Midwest’s cleverest living comic poet enjoins readers, “Please bury me in the library / With a dozen long-stemmed proses.” He suggests altering classic titles (“Green Eggs and Spam”), offers reading-related haiku, a library acrostic—and even literary criticism, from “A great book is a homing device / For navigating paradise” to “A bad book owes to many trees / A forest of apologies.” Stone debuts with broadly brushed, page-filling acrylics to match: Children in pj’s rest beneath or teeter atop piles of books; mice and owls peruse large volumes by moon- and candle-light; an elderly, rather Seussian creature listens contentedly to a young reader. Finishing with “Acknowledgements” to “Shel and Jack and Myra Cohn,” plus other “word wizards,” this offering from the prolific Lewis won’t stay buried long, no matter where it’s planted. (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-15-216387-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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ISN'T MY NAME MAGICAL?

SISTER AND BROTHER POEMS

Leaving behind much of the lyricism found in his previous collections, Berry (First Palm Trees, 1997, etc.) pens poems in the voices of a sister, Dreena (who has the magical name), and brother, Delroy, on their experiences in the family with a dour sister, mother (“A teacher, Mom has lots of pens/and home and school jobs”), and father, who “drives a train,/sometimes in a heavy jacket.” This father is not really poem-material: “And, sometimes, Dad brings us gifts./Sometimes, he plays our piano.” The brother, Delroy, who tenders three autobiographical poems, can’t sit still and can’t stop talking about it. There is a good declarative poem, about a strong friendship he shares with another boy. Otherwise, he is dancing like a madman (“doing body-break and body-pop”) or skateboarding under the influence of a fevered imagination (“I want one owl on each my shoulder/hooting out as I leap each river”). In her first book, Hehenberger takes a literal route, anchoring every poem in domestic scenes of family and friends; the deep colors and finely sculpted forms become set pieces for Berry’s earthbound images. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-80013-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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MY DOG IS A CARROT

“EEEEEEEK! Poetry!” squeaks the dismayed dog on the cover. Readers who aren’t scared off by the warning will find within an entertaining, if uneven, array of free verse and shaped poetry selected from Glad to Wear Glasses (1990). Hegley writes of eyeglasses, dogs (including one with an alimentary problem), carrots, colors, and various other quirky topics, usually in a jocular tone but occasionally waxing earnest, as in “Bully For You”: “If you’re being bullied, / tell. / Tell your parents / tell your guardians / tell your caregivers.” The page design adds to the free-form spirit, with vivid color changes playing off each other on facing texts or backgrounds, abstract geometric shapes alongside or behind the lines, and occasional childlike cartoons. Despite some duds, like “Loaf Poem” (“I bought a loaf the other day / it came to life and ran away. / And I said, / ‘Naughty bad bread. / Naughty’ ”), this is worth considering for deeper collections where such sparklers as Paul Janeczko’s A Poke in the I (2001) have created new interest in concrete poetry. (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7636-1932-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2003

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