THE UNDERWEAR SALESMAN

AND OTHER JOBS FOR BETTER OR VERSE

The goofy cover and subtitle alone will raise giggles as they set the stage for Lewis to play poetic pundit for 47 jobs—odd jobs. To name just a few: Elevator Operator, Ice Sculptor, Belly Dancer, Highway Line Painter, Marathon Runner, Banana Picker, Crossword Puzzle Maker, Ventriloquist, Acupuncturist, Plumber (the job “inside the Twoilet Zone”) and even Librarian. Bloch’s quirky, digital collage illustrations play up the silliness of the rhymes, some of which are better and some are “verse,” while the wacky page compositions caricature the unusual careers. Some poetry lines and details in the illustrations skew more to adult humor than children’s; the Fashion Designer spread, for instance, includes a small drawing of Karl Lagerfeld. But what a way to liven up Career Day! Kids will love the humor—a sample, from the Skyscraper Window Washer: “Window pain: / Ordinary words / Cannot express / My thoughts on birds.” The picture shows the man with birds (and a bit of poo) on his head and his squeegee. A solid selection. (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 10, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-689-85325-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Ginee Seo/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2009

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FOOTPRINTS ON THE ROOF

POEMS ABOUT THE EARTH

Nineteen poems, some rhymed, are paired with So’s (Countdown to Spring, p. 50, etc.) ink drawings. The poems are sometimes dry and sometimes didactic, but most are straightforward and occasionally giddy. So’s art is by turns whimsical, wild, or reticent. The title comes from “Burrows” a poem about the creatures that live under the “roof” of the earth: rabbits, foxes, snakes. The image of a dragon under the volcano in “Dormant Dragons” is beautifully realized as So turns wash and squiggle into the beast. “Winter Solstice” connects a wintry day in America with the first day of summer in Australia most charmingly. In “Go-Betweens”: “They issue warnings / They offer praise / This is trees’ work / and they do it with such uncomplaining grace / it never seems like work at all.” A swath of soft ink and a perfectly rendered rose reflect the turning of the year in “Summer Solstice”—“The richest garden / the greenest trees / will have a different form / wearing withered leaves like memories / of days when it was warm.” Esbensen’s venerable Cold Stars and Fireflies (1984) makes a nice accompaniment. (Poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-81094-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2002

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AN EGRET’S DAY

Poetry and short informative paragraphs combine to celebrate both the elegance and the natural history of the American egret. Haiku, free verse, rhyming couplets and even a limerick are just some of the forms Yolen masterfully uses to engage readers on both aesthetic and scientific levels. Gorgeous photography completes this carefully designed literary science piece with scenes of the egret’s daily life. Stemple captures the egret’s movements as the light of each part of the day, from the yellow-orange glow of sunrise to midday pink to late afternoon sunset blue to evening purple, is reflected on its snow-white feathers. Both the poetry and the brief fact-filled vignettes explain how egrets walk, eat, fly and preen and how their plumes, so lace-like, were once coveted for decorating clothes and hats. A final poem muses on the future of this great wading bird in a country filled with polluted wetlands. A stunning combination of scientific and ecological knowledge offered through a graceful fusion of lyrical and visual media. (Informational picture book/poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59078-650-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2009

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