WINTER EYES

Florian’s naãf watercolor and colored pencil illustrations are excellent accompaniment to his 48 poems on the snowy season. The titular poem offers an invitation to readers to experience winter with appropriate sensory and ambulatory attitude: winter ears, eyes, nose and “winter feet/On crackling ice/Or sloshy wet sleet.” Much is made of the length of the season; summer hums and spring zings, “But winter/always/takes/its/time,” which results in “Cabin Fever,” a poem that exhibits symptoms and anodynes that are more adult than the attitudes and activities found in the majority of the poems. A sense of being snared by an endlessly white, crisply cold season permeates the book, although there are also cozy “fireplace feet” and a number of poems are devoted to the joys of winter, as in the typographically creative “Sled” and “The Winter Field,” which speak of, respectively, sailing downhill and soaring spirits. Winter-lovers and winter-haters alike will find poems that strike chords, in a collection that is perfect for reading alone by the fire, or as part of snug storytimes. (Poetry. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-16458-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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THE BUG IN TEACHER'S COFFEE

AND OTHER SCHOOL POEMS

PLB 0-06-027940-0 Dakos’s collection of 23 poems from the perspective of items found at school satisfies the I Can Read requirements of simplicity and word repetition, but may not lure beginning readers back for a second time. The material is uninspiring: The school’s front door says, “Keep me shut,/I have the flu,/Achooooooooo!/Achooooooooo!/Achooooooooo!/Achooooooooo!/Keep me shut,/I have the flu.” A book sings “Happy Birthday” to a ruler, then sings “Happy Unbirthday” when the ruler says that it is not its birthday. Also appearing are a couple of clever items—one on a kidnapped pencil and another on a comb pulling hazardous duty—along with some typographic elements that amiably convey the idea that words are malleable; Reed’s illustrations possess geniality and character, making some inanimate objects very personable. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-027939-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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