NIGHT GARDEN

POEMS FROM THE WORLD OF DREAMS

From Wong (The Rainbow Hand, p. 231, etc.), a collection of 15 soulful poems that commands attention and keeps until the end, with a canny, singular take on the familiar imagery of dreamtime. These are episodes of remembrance and genesis, falling and flying, of speaking an unknown language with facility, of the bite of an inexorable nightmare. Short and vivid, the poems urge readers to “pull/at the air around you/when you wake,/pull and gulp it down” to keep alive the presence of the departed who have just visited the dreamer. Wong can be skip-quick to suggest evanescence, or her words can flutter with fear; she can be exquisitely funny, as when a sibling eavesdrops on a sister who is talking and laughing in her sleep—about the eavesdropper. Paschkis is equal to the task of illustrating these poems, with two-page spreads presented as mirror-image two-toned diptychs, bursting with glyphs and portents across dream-crazed backgrounds, with the text scrolling across one page and the full-color image undulating from the other. (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82617-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ISN'T MY NAME MAGICAL?

SISTER AND BROTHER POEMS

Leaving behind much of the lyricism found in his previous collections, Berry (First Palm Trees, 1997, etc.) pens poems in the voices of a sister, Dreena (who has the magical name), and brother, Delroy, on their experiences in the family with a dour sister, mother (“A teacher, Mom has lots of pens/and home and school jobs”), and father, who “drives a train,/sometimes in a heavy jacket.” This father is not really poem-material: “And, sometimes, Dad brings us gifts./Sometimes, he plays our piano.” The brother, Delroy, who tenders three autobiographical poems, can’t sit still and can’t stop talking about it. There is a good declarative poem, about a strong friendship he shares with another boy. Otherwise, he is dancing like a madman (“doing body-break and body-pop”) or skateboarding under the influence of a fevered imagination (“I want one owl on each my shoulder/hooting out as I leap each river”). In her first book, Hehenberger takes a literal route, anchoring every poem in domestic scenes of family and friends; the deep colors and finely sculpted forms become set pieces for Berry’s earthbound images. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-80013-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more