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HOW TO CROSS A POND by Marilyn Singer


Poems About Water

by Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Meilo So

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 2003
ISBN: 0-375-82376-X
Publisher: Knopf

The team behind Footprints on the Roof (2002) returns to present another slim, elemental celebration. Poems on such subjects as “Spring in the Garden” and “Water Guns” seek to explore many different aspects of water, inviting readers to muse on the mountain origins of a fire hydrant or the many ways to cross a pond. It is an uneven collection, occasionally settling for the cute wordplay that seems to have become the standard in children’s poetry, but it can also soar. A blossom in a “Rain Forest” becomes a pond to its amphibious denizens; a grandmother’s memories of bringing water from “Wells” become almost tactile. And at its most breathtaking, it imagines the sadness of the “dry moon / tugging at the earth’s oceans / as if she could draw them up / to fill her vast dusty seas.” So’s illustrations are appropriately enough rendered in washy blue ink, her naturally liquid style finding its apotheosis here. The typography, too, is rendered in blue ink, for a total design that barely escapes preciosity. Take it for its frequently splendid parts, not its whole. (Poetry. 8-12)