HOLIDAY STEW

A KID’S PORTION OF HOLIDAY AND SEASONAL POEMS

This celebration of almost every event in a child’s life is arranged by the four seasons. Over 80 poems observe holidays such as Ramadan, Passover, Chinese New Year and Cinco de Mayo. “It’s Labor Day” begins, “A holiday for hard work? / Yes, grown-ups, you deserve it! / But thank you very kindly / for letting kids observe it.” Topics include spring-cleaning the city streets, seasonal games, daylight savings time and Teacher Appreciation Day. Each overstuffed page features cartoon-like drawings that are busy and at times overwhelm the writing. Uneven cadence mars some of the poetry, but, on the whole, the writing is breezy and fits the illustrations. Children will have fun reciting the poems and sharing in reading the notes, jokes and two-line poems that decorate the margins. (Poetry. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8050-7715-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2007

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THE UGLY PUMPKIN

A club-shaped pumpkin gets dissed by a customer, all the other pumpkins, even twisted apple trees, before the sight of a motley crop of hubbards, acorns and banana squash brings on a personal epiphany: “O my gosh / I’m a squash.” Endowed with a face and stick limbs, the gnarled narrator sits down at a Thanksgiving table with its new soulmates, then is last seen strolling down the lane hand in hand with a lumpy new friend. Written in doggerel—“A skeleton came for pumpkins / one bright and crispy day. / I asked if I could get a ride . . . / He laughed and said: No Way”—and illustrated in brightly colored paint-and-paper collage, this weak riff on the “Ugly Duckling” may not earn high marks for botanical accuracy (all pumpkins are squash), but it does feature plenty of visual flash. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-24267-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2005

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HONEY, I LOVE

Iffy art cramps this 25th-anniversary reissue of the joyful title poem from Greenfield’s first collection (1978), illustrated by the Dillons. As timeless as ever, the poem celebrates everything a child loves, from kissing Mama’s warm, soft arm to listening to a cousin from the South, “ ’cause every word he says / just kind of slides out of his mouth.” “I love a lot of things / a whole lot of things,” the narrator concludes, “And honey, / I love ME, too.” The African-American child in the pictures sports an updated hairstyle and a big, infectious grin—but even younger viewers will notice that the spray of cool water that supposedly “stings my stomach” isn’t aimed there, and that a comforter on the child’s bed changes patterns between pages. More problematic, though, is a dropped doll that suddenly acquires a horrified expression that makes it look disturbingly like a live baby, and the cutesy winged fairy that hovers over the sleeping child in the final scene. The poem deserves better. (Picture book/poetry. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-009123-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2002

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