Paired throughout with Preston-Gannon’s evocative, vibrantly textured digital illustrations, Waters’ superbly curated poems...

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SING A SONG OF SEASONS

A NATURE POEM FOR EACH DAY OF THE YEAR

A year’s worth of nature poems and illustrations for all ages in a massive collaboration between two Brits.

Measuring approximately 10 by 11 inches high and over 1 inch thick, Waters’ collected 366 lyric selections hail from more than 90 poets recognized as pillars of the Western canon—Shakespeare, Dickinson, Wordsworth, Blake, Cummings—as well as a handful of poets from other cultures as well as modern children’s stalwarts. While the age-old celebration of seasons and passage of time must be among the most common ways nature anthologies are organized, what sets this collection apart is how the differing perspectives work together. Waters makes sure, whether nature’s many creatures or states of being happen to be personified or objectified, that the unifying themes of environmental conservation and respect for creatures great and small (“Hurt no living thing,” advises Christina Rossetti) come clearly across. This isn’t to say the volume doesn’t offer numerous examples of light verse, such as Tony Mitton’s salute to a plum—“Don’t feel beaten. / You were made / to be eaten”—or selections from fun masters Ogden Nash and JonArno Lawson. Alongside these playful stanzas are hundreds of reflective poems, showcasing natural wonders often with mere syllables, as in “White Sound” by Julie O’Callaghan: “When rain / whispers / it is snow.”

Paired throughout with Preston-Gannon’s evocative, vibrantly textured digital illustrations, Waters’ superbly curated poems offer something for everyone: majestic and inspiring as nature itself. (Poetry. 5-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0247-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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FALLING UP

Well, finally. In this long-overdue follow-up to A Light In The Attic (1981), Silverstein once again displays the talent for wordplay and idea-play that keeps his poetry evergreen. In bumptious verse that seldom runs more than three or four stanzas, he introduces a gallery of daffy characters, including the Terrible Toy-Eating Tookle, a hamburger named James, blissfully oblivious Headphone Harold, and the so-attractive folk attending the "Rotten Convention''—"Mr. Mud and the Creepin' Crud / And the Drooler and Belchin' Bob,'' to name but a few. The humor has become more alimentary with the years, but the lively, deceptively simple art hasn't changed a bit. Its puzzled-looking young people (with an occasional monster or grimacing grown-up thrown in) provide visual punchlines and make silly situations explicit; a short ten-year-old "grows another foot''—from the top of his head—and a worried child is assured that there's no mouse in her hair (it's an elephant). Readers chortling their way through this inspired assemblage of cautionary tales, verbal hijinks, and thoughtful observations, deftly inserted, will find the temptation to read parts of it aloud irresistible. (index) (Poetry. 7+)

Pub Date: May 31, 1996

ISBN: 0-06-024802-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1996

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Science at its best: informative and gross.

DO NOT LICK THIS BOOK

Why not? Because “IT’S FULL OF GERMS.”

Of course, Ben-Barak rightly notes, so is everything else—from your socks to the top of Mount Everest. Just to demonstrate, he invites readers to undertake an exploratory adventure (only partly imaginary): First touch a certain seemingly blank spot on the page to pick up a microbe named Min, then in turn touch teeth, shirt, and navel to pick up Rae, Dennis, and Jake. In the process, readers watch crews of other microbes digging cavities (“Hey kid, brush your teeth less”), spreading “lovely filth,” and chowing down on huge rafts of dead skin. For the illustrations, Frost places dialogue balloons and small googly-eyed cartoon blobs of diverse shape and color onto Rundgren’s photographs, taken using a scanning electron microscope, of the fantastically rugged surfaces of seemingly smooth paper, a tooth, textile fibers, and the jumbled crevasses in a belly button. The tour concludes with more formal introductions and profiles for Min and the others: E. coli, Streptococcus, Aspergillus niger, and Corynebacteria. “Where will you take Min tomorrow?” the author asks teasingly. Maybe the nearest bar of soap.

Science at its best: informative and gross. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17536-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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