THE DREAM ON BLANCA’S WALL/EL SUEÑO PEGADO EN LA PARED DE BLANCA

POEMS IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH

In this worthy successor to My Name Is Jorge (1999), Medina again creates a collection of poems in English and Spanish that form a story-in-verse. Sixth-grader Blanca applies herself in school (most of the time) and dreams of being a teacher. Her clear eye takes in how hard her father works, how distant her older brother has become in his teenage years, and even how easily she can manipulate being bilingual in order to “translate” a teacher’s concerned criticisms into a glowing report for her Spanish-only mother. She notices how brown her classmates are, and how white her teachers; she adores Mrs. Farley, the only white neighbor to remain as the neighborhood “went brown.” Medina’s easy-to-read free verse encourages even the reluctant reader, in English or Spanish, and Casilla’s soft black-and-white illustrations are lifelike and inviting. A winner. (Poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-56397-740-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2004

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POCKET POEMS

With an eye toward easy memorization, Katz gathers over 50 short poems from the likes of Emily Dickinson, Valerie Worth, Jack Prelutsky, and Lewis Carroll, to such anonymous gems as “The Burp”—“Pardon me for being rude. / It was not me, it was my food. / It got so lonely down below, / it just popped up to say hello.” Katz includes five of her own verses, and promotes an evident newcomer, Emily George, with four entries. Hafner surrounds every selection with fine-lined cartoons, mostly of animals and children engaged in play, reading, or other familiar activities. Amid the ranks of similar collections, this shiny-faced newcomer may not stand out—but neither will it drift to the bottom of the class. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-525-47172-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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DINOSAURS GALORE!

A dozen familiar dinosaurs introduce themselves in verse in this uninspired, if colorful, new animal gallery from the authors of Commotion in the Ocean (2000). Smiling, usually toothily, and sporting an array of diamonds, lightning bolts, spikes and tiger stripes, the garishly colored dinosaurs make an eye-catching show, but their comments seldom measure up to their appearance: “I’m a swimming reptile, / I dive down in the sea. / And when I spot a yummy squid, / I eat it up with glee!” (“Ichthyosaurus”) Next to the likes of Kevin Crotty’s Dinosongs (2000), illustrated by Kurt Vargo, or Jack Prelutsky’s classic Tyrannosaurus Was A Beast (1988), illustrated by Arnold Lobel, there’s not much here to roar about. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-58925-044-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2005

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