Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TOUCH THE POEM by Arnold Adoff


by Arnold Adoff & illustrated by Lisa Desimini

Age Range: 4 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-590-47970-9
Publisher: Scholastic

There is poetry in the art and in the juxtaposition of art and text, as well as in the words themselves in this second ingenious poetry collection by Adoff and Desimini (Love Letters, 1997, etc.). The pleasures of touch are expressed on every page, from the handprint on the title page to the baby's footprint accompanying the colophon. A poem about the feel of a peach is reminiscent of Eve Merriam's classic "How to Eat a Poem" in its celebration of the poetry of the senses. From "The Palm / Of My Left Hand" rubbing "Along The Hair / Behind My Ear" with its photo of a young girl, her palm on her cheek and her fingers tangled in her hair, to footprints in the mud, the feel of "Daddy's / Stubble / Cheek," a baby's toes, and a bathtub full of bubbles, words and images enhance each other's impact. Desimini's mixed-media collages of photographs, paintings, paper, and computer graphics are full of surprises, sometimes appearing sideways, sometimes looking first like one thing (a sandy beach) and then like something else (there are lips in the sand!). The interplay of words and images expresses the playfulness and multiplicity of poetry itself, creating a rich effect that will draw readers back again and again. (Picture book/poetry. 4-9)