A dozen classic poems, with Lewis’ playful revisions on the opposite pages.
The title poem is a reworking of Beatrice Schenk de Regniers’ “Keep a Poem in Your Pocket,” which touts the importance of imagination. The revision exalts the value of memories triggered by little objects—“red hawk feather, / silver penny, pinkie ring”—found in a pocket. Langston Hughes’ “Winter Sweetness” describes a snow-covered house as made of sugar. The revision, “Winter Warmth,” compares a book to a cup of hot cocoa on a frigid day. An excerpt from Jack Prelutsky’s “The Goblin” begins, “There’s a goblin as green / As a goblin can be.” Lewis begins “The Ogre” this way: “There’s an ogre as wide / As a flatbed truck.” He counters Robert Louis Stevenson’s two-line “Happy Thought” with a “Sleepy Thought”; David McCord’s “This is My Rock” becomes “This is My Tree.” Perhaps the cleverest revamping is that of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” In Lewis’ hands it becomes “Stopping by Fridge on a Hungry Evening.” (Said refrigerator is full of algae and mold and rotting food.) Lewis’ poems are a mixed bag—some come off poorly by comparison to their originals—but the book could provide wonderful inspiration for young would-be poets. Wright’s illustrations, in acrylic paint and ink on canvas, add much color, notably including the multiracial cast of children she depicts.
Clever. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)