WHO SHRANK MY GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE? Poems of Discovery by Barbara Juster Esbensen

WHO SHRANK MY GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE? Poems of Discovery

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Noting that ""the moat ordinary things can suddenly seem new and unexpected,"" Esbensen evokes the surprise and wonder in everyday images and objects. A sand dollar contains a delightful secret: ""Who can break a dollar?//What a bargain! Five/white doves/ready to fly to your hand//Sea change!"" In a note, the poet explains that sand dollars have dove-shaped teeth. Other images, like this one in ""Time,"" are vague or misleading: ""Until we invented clocks/we counted the hours/in sunlight/and shadow On cloudy days/everybody came in late or/early Everybody/apologized to/everybody There was/no order in the cave."" Some metaphors intended to enhance the sense of wonder may merely confuse: in ""Pencils,"" the question ""Who/gives them their/lunch?"" puzzles rather than clarifies by muddling the pencil itself with the thoughts of the person who wields it. Beddows's softly rendered illustrations evoke each image with care, sometimes gently elaborating but more often remaining unnecessarily literal. But despite its flaws, the book as a whole does captures a child's imaginative response to the commonplace. A useful springboard for young writers and poets.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1992
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Harper Collins