This is a collection of poems express feelings and thoughts of a child after moving from a village in Jamaica to the big city life of the U.S. The poeThis is a collection of poems express feelings and thoughts of a child after moving from a village in Jamaica to the big city life of the U.S. The poems show some of the losses like being a nameless person in a huge city instead of a beloved well-known member of a small community. The poems also show new experiences like going to the circus and seeing artwork by world famous artists. The young girl shares her fears as she stays in the apartment alone while her mother takes classes at night. She also lets readers experience the joy of her new friendship.
This would be a great book to pair with the wordless picture book Here I Am by Patti Kim. It is also an immigrant story, but told in a very different way.
The cover of this book got my attention. The circus with the addition of food seemed like a fun idea. The illustrations contiReview copy via publisher
The cover of this book got my attention. The circus with the addition of food seemed like a fun idea. The illustrations continued to be interesting and unique throughout.
I love poetry. I especially love poetry that makes me laugh so I was looking forward to reading this book. The poems though, were very rhyme focused. The content was always centered on food and circus, but the words and ideas felt flat. The rhyme felt forced on many of the poems.
The poems weren't very engaging for me. I felt like they wouldn't stand on their own except perhaps "The Juggler" which was one of the ones I enjoyed the most. "Anything that's slightly round/Will soon be far above the ground./Buns at breakfast? Must avoid,/Grapes at dinner? I'm annoyed."
The illustrations are intriguing and could be poured over. They are full of energy and include many fun details.
This collection was okay, but I would recommend it only if you are looking to add something for a circus unit....more
Since I usually review children's and young adult titles, I want to make it clear that this is an adult collectiReview copy: Final copy from publisher
Since I usually review children's and young adult titles, I want to make it clear that this is an adult collection. It's marketed adult and is written from an adult perspective. Having the word zombies on the cover may still get the attention of a few YA readers or adult readers that don't usually venture into poetry. The word zombies is what caught my attention. The title also lets you know that this is a darker poetry collection. Zepeda delves into the creepy and disturbing areas of life. There is a smattering of humor here and there, but on the whole, these poems are unsettling and are definitely not sweet and pretty ditties. These poems were unlike any other collection I have dipped into before. The poems expressed some strong emotions and called to my own.
Whether the topics were drinking too much, anxiety attacks, a brother's anger, devils, maggots or nightmares, Zepeda's poems are probing into scary aspects of life and into the dark places of the mind. Real or imaginary, the effect is the same. Hansel and Gretel has always been a disturbing story, but under Zepeda's pen, it becomes even more chilling.
The book is organized in four sections: Addicts and Obsessions, Monsters and Warriors, Zombies and the Bitten and Animals and Nature. Animals and Nature had several of my favorites and were more likely to be amusing. One that I really liked was "Recipe for Fun" mentioned above in the summary. Feeding others then hiding in the bathroom with a salt scrub sounds appealing to me. It made me want to write my own recipe for fun too.
It is a poetry collection, but a few of the pieces appear to be narrative essays. Even when they don't have the tradition form of a poem though, all of the selections are filled with rich imagery capable of calling up emotions - and strong emotions at that.
While I don't often venture into the realm of the creepy, I'm glad that I had the chance to walk through the twisted paths found here.
This is a lighthearted poem that explains how to make salsa. It likens the ingredients to musical instruments. The illustrations are very fun. I onlyThis is a lighthearted poem that explains how to make salsa. It likens the ingredients to musical instruments. The illustrations are very fun. I only wish that the recipe was written out at the end or there were a few more specifics about the proportions....more
Ashley Bryan goes beach combing and creates puppets from his finds. Here he has written poems to go with many of his creations. They are all very uniqAshley Bryan goes beach combing and creates puppets from his finds. Here he has written poems to go with many of his creations. They are all very unique. At the end he gives the dates of when they were created and the country of Africa that they honor. The book makes me itch to make a puppet too. It ends with a comment that when you close the book you will see puppets everywhere. Oh the possibilities....more
This is a great look at the variety of ways we can see water in the world. I loved that readers get to see places all over the world. The informationThis is a great look at the variety of ways we can see water in the world. I loved that readers get to see places all over the world. The information at the end that details where the pictures come from was a welcome addition....more
This is a wonderful collection of poetry that focuses on the Iguazu waterfalls in Argentina. There are poems about the diverse plants and animals. TheThis is a wonderful collection of poetry that focuses on the Iguazu waterfalls in Argentina. There are poems about the diverse plants and animals. Their are also poems about the responsibility we have for preserving the plants and animals for future generations.
I plan to share this with our first grade for their rainforest unit. I think the I will also teach the students one of the shorter poems in Spanish - Las mariposas. Then we can be butterflies flitting around.
I almost forgot, Maya Christina Gonzalez's art is fabulous. The illustrations are vibrant and rich with lush colors - a combination of paint and cut paper....more
I love Christy Hale's work. Her illustrations are fantastic. The collage is bright and appealing. I felt that shReview copy: final copy from publisher
I love Christy Hale's work. Her illustrations are fantastic. The collage is bright and appealing. I felt that she got the atmosphere of the text: a spirit of collaboration and fun in a cheerful place of growth and life. She also showed the diversity of the garden and of the students too.
The text could have been narrative instead of poetry. It didn't always flow in that format. It felt a little like the words were being forced into poems. The one I enjoyed the most was 'Spring Plant Sale.' It was a concrete poem that was shaped like a seedling stretching up out of a pot.
This might be a nice book to have for a primary gardening program, but it would not be one to get if you are looking for poetry. ...more
The design and illustrations are what truly drew me into this book. Before the title page, there is already an illustrationReview copy from publisher
The design and illustrations are what truly drew me into this book. Before the title page, there is already an illustration and a full page of definitions for "amuse-booche." That's handy, since most young readers may be unfamiliar with the term. We discover that it is a small, complimentary taste of food from the chef. The table of contents is designed as a menu. This was a very fun idea and one that brought chuckles. The humor in the illustrations throughout kept me reading. Larkin has taken photographs and added "graffiti" and drawings to create an amusing atmosphere. This goes along with the idea of the amuse-booche. He is both amusing the tongue and the mind.
There are several poems that stood out to me. 'My Father is a Painter' is one near the beginning of the book and it speaks of the plate as a canvas. One that young readers will likely enjoy is 'Runaway Beans.' Here is a portion of that piece:
"Poot! They make me toot and poot and beep. I toot so hard, I fly out of my seat."
I would recommend some of the poems, but there are many that fell a little flat. Some rhymed and some didn't, but that wasn't it. Some just didn't flow. Often in those cases, I was appreciating the illustration more than the poem.
If you are looking for poetry to celebrate food, this would be a nice purchase, but otherwise, it may be one you would just borrow....more