The poems in this illustrated collection for children range from humorous to poignant, with assorted characters taking center stage.
In his latest volume of rhyming verse for kids, Aronsen (Animal Fashion Show, 2015, etc.) offers 79 pieces, many silly or funny but others with a serious side. The title poem, for example, treats the beginning of a new day with appreciation for the delights to come: “The world is waking up! / Come and watch with me. / Let us all be humbled / By the beauty we will see.” The piece goes on to celebrate the rising or awakening of the sun, birds, trees, and people as they all begin their day, reminding readers to pay attention to and be humbled by “the beauty along the way.” As generally in this collection, the verse has good rhythm and the rhyme isn’t forced. Many poems feature amusing characters like “expressive Ed” and “No-nonsense Ned”; Willie, who keeps waiting for a better offer of something to do; and “Long-legged Lucy,” who lives in a stretch limo. Others have first-person narrators in pieces both serious, such as “Father Time” (“I walked with Father Time / Matching his steady stride / As he moved always forward, / Invariably by my side”), and funny, like “Shmuh” (“I like the sound of ‘shmuh’ / And use it because I can / In front of random words, / So try to shmunderstand”). Several verses engage in the fun of clever wordplay, as with “Letters,” in which the narrator decides, instead of sending a letter, to catch one—but it doesn’t prove easy: “I didn’t get too far / When I ventured out to C, / For pirates and their R’s / Were too strong a match for me.” Illustrator G.’s (Grandma Is My Friend, 2019, etc.) black-and-white images, mostly line drawings, do a nice job of illuminating the poems and often help visualize unusual scenarios, like the one in “Pasta Party,” in which all the different shapes of noodles come out to play.
An enjoyable and varied volume of mostly light verse that rhymes and scans well.