FOLD ME A POEM

Accurately rendered origami animals and other models made from an array of brilliantly patterned papers parade across a young folder’s table and around a thematic set of short, pithy poems: “Folding a snake? / Need advice? / Be precissssssse.” Sometimes the creatures voice the lines, as when a rabbit complains that it can’t hear because its ears are too sharply creased. More often it’s the child, greeting a newly-made rooster in the morning, crafting tulips to go with a flock of pleated peacocks, separating rabbits and foxes (“I don’t want trouble”), fussing over an ostrich damaged by a cat of the furry sort, folding boats for a bath-time excursion and finally snuggling into bed with a rustling cricket. There are no step diagrams, so this engrossing collaboration is more a motivator than a teaching resource—but Stringer supplies a list of classic titles for beginners at the end, and (librarians: be warned!) the square, brightly colored endpapers make tempting, oh so tempting starter sheets. (Picture book/poetry. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-15-202501-4

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 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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SEASONS

A BOOK OF POEMS

Two venerable contributors have teamed up to make a small collection of poetry for beginning readers. The I Can Read series has usually produced fine volumes that new young readers can actually read themselves; this has the added attraction of introducing various kinds of verse forms, both rhymed and unrhymed, in very short bursts. The contents are divided by season: Eleven poems each for “Winter Bits” and “Spring Things” and nine poems each for “Summer Thoughts” and “The Feel of Fall.” Not all are completely successful, but most capture that essence of perception that is good poetry. “The crickets / fill the night / with their voices— / It is like / a message / in another language / spoken to a part / of me / who hasn’t / happened yet.” That’s “The Crickets” in its entirety. Although the city is mentioned in some verses, the imagery is decidedly rural if not downright rustic, with wooden fences, dirt roads, and meadows in evidence. Children wear helmets to ride their bikes, and carry backpacks, but the pictures are timeless, if in country mode. Blegvad (First Friends, not reviewed, etc.) is a master of the vibrant line and telling detail—every leaf blows in the wind just so; every child has his or her own specific energy or repose. A small delight. (Poetry. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-06-026698-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2002

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