Those are dormers looking like praying hands in the moonlight, not gables. A lot of people confuse that. And it is SOOOO not important, not in the facThose are dormers looking like praying hands in the moonlight, not gables. A lot of people confuse that. And it is SOOOO not important, not in the face of this stunning collection. Much is made of Melissa Sweet's terrific art, and it is terrific - but the art of finding and selecting so many marvelous, pithy, windblown, picturesque short poems is nothing to sneeze at....more
Baby sister, roller coaster, imaginary friend. Kite, bat, Christmas tree, bubblegum and sand. Familiar objects and situations are given a sideways tweBaby sister, roller coaster, imaginary friend. Kite, bat, Christmas tree, bubblegum and sand. Familiar objects and situations are given a sideways tweak in more than one hundred illustrated poems. A kid rats out a classmate - for being a tattle-tale; the scary alien under the bed turns out to be a moldy sandwich; and in an epic poem that recalls the old lady who swallowed the fly, a boy wears his coat upside-down, walks on his hands, sits on his head, and eats from his shoe. That kid is living life way outside the box!
Diane Goode’s ink and brush illustrations are full of swooping lines and flippy flourishes - energetic and graceful at the same time. The art picks up the punchline of the funny poems, amplifying the humor to laugh-out-loud levels; but is ornate and lovely for poems about the moon, dreams, or sunrise.
Ms. Wilson dedicates the book to Shel Silverstein, and indeed the black and white illustrations and mixture of wry observation and kooky supposition recall Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up.
How often do I read poetry? I never read poetry. How often do I read about God? After rather a binge in high school, I almost never read about a JudeoHow often do I read poetry? I never read poetry. How often do I read about God? After rather a binge in high school, I almost never read about a Judeochristian god.
But oh how I love this. This I am sending to my cousin, who had a wonderful relationship with his god and his church until his church didn't like that he was gay, and I feel terrible that this important part of his life has been ripped away.
Cynthia Rylant's God would be happy that my cousin had found a way to be open with himself and to maybe find love. Cynthia Rylant's God would maybe be a little jealous. Cynthia Rylant's God knows how it feels to be lonely and misunderstood. I think it's safe to say, given the wide range of convictions that people have about god, if there is a God, it is statistically unavoidable that he/she is desperately, gravely misunderstood.
So this is terrific. God gets to relax, play cards, read a book to a kid. God goes to beauty school and learns to give manicures because He really likes looking at hands.
You know what I like looking at? I like looking at Marla Frazee's art. Whether it's a balding Latino God admiring his nail salon or a black teenage boy God suffering through a head cold on a plaid couch, her images reinforce the poet's efforts to bring God closer to us. Cynthia Rylant's God, anyway....more
Jesus Christ. I thought I'd seen my favorite couple of picture books for the year, and then here comes this one. SO bedtimey, SO not-bedtimey, all aboJesus Christ. I thought I'd seen my favorite couple of picture books for the year, and then here comes this one. SO bedtimey, SO not-bedtimey, all about observation and appreciation of the flawless little miracles that make up the natural world - clouds, bugs, birds, pirate ships... and roses.
if you want to see a whale you'll have to just ignore the roses and all their pink and all their sweet and all their wild and their waving because roses don't want you watching whales or waiting for or wondering about things that are not pink and things that are not sweet and things that are not roses
This is Gertrude Stein done one better. This is Yeats and the tyranny of beauty in simple language.
I am reading picture books today - I've been away and I needed to catch up on all the new stuff that has come in. And when you read twenty picture booI am reading picture books today - I've been away and I needed to catch up on all the new stuff that has come in. And when you read twenty picture books at a time, sometimes certain groupings assert themselves. Today, it's the Picture Book for Grownups.
Puss Jekyll Cat Hyde is a fine book for kids. Poems built on observation describe a black-and-white kitty's various moods and seeming split personality. Any kid who has a cat will recognize - yup, that's what cats are like. We have a black and white cat named Brother John who is certainly half cuddlebutt, half terrorist, and my kids would recognize Brother John in these pages.
But this is not a book that they would clasp to their bosom and cherish. Rather, any clasping and cherishing likely to be inflicted upon this book will be done by grownups who have owned cats, loved cats, and spent A LOT of time with their cats. Not to put too fine a point on it... LIBRARIANS. Maybe also writers and illustrators.
This verse story, told from the point of view of a ten-year-old Vietnamese girl who flees Saigon with her family in 1975, is both readable and historiThis verse story, told from the point of view of a ten-year-old Vietnamese girl who flees Saigon with her family in 1975, is both readable and historically significant. It can be hard not to feel like verse stories are somehow cheating, especially when the poems do not follow strict poetic forms. In addition, kids see all that white space on the page and they know the book will take no time at all to read. However. The simple forms here, the descriptions that swerve between straightforward and elliptical, keep the story sketchlike, allowing it a timeless relevance. Even though Ha (and Lai) is my age and fleeing Vietnam, her story of assimilation will apply to kids coming from Eritrea, Afghanistan or Bhutan. When I was in 4th grade, our Ha was Ngoc, and I hope we were nicer to her than Ha's new classmates in Alabama. ...more