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THINK AGAIN by JonArno Lawson


by JonArno Lawson & illustrated by Julie Morstad

Age Range: 9 - 14

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-55453-423-4
Publisher: Kids Can

More than 40 introspective poems and accompanying illustrations explore the complexity of close relationships. The gifted Canadian artists Lawson (Black Stars in a White Night Sky, 2008) and Morstad (Where You Came From, with Sara O’Leary, 2008) here turn away from unabashed silliness to tackle the more serious aspects of relationship building and character formation that greet children moving into their teens. Ever playful, the poet’s pithy quatrains distill relational truths to their essence—“My Dad had a mid-life crisis, quit his wife and job. / The briefest summing up suffices: / Gave himself up to his vices / Lives on beer and pizza slices”—or lightly capture the gravitas of a moment—“Sit still said her father— / Quiet said her mom: / So she sat still and quiet / As an unexploded bomb.” While the illustrator’s spare grayscale drawings curiously stitch more of a narrative thread through the volume than the poems suggest, they effectively amplify the tension they masterfully depict. An entirely rewarding combination. (Poetry. 9-14)