FIRST MORNING by Nikki Siegen-Smith


Poems About Time
edited by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
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As a concept of both a beginning and an end, as endless and scarce, as ordinary and spectacular, and as something precious to be cherished, the notion of time is explored in this collection of poems by a rich variety of poets. The indomitable Jack Prelutsky runs backward to revisit yesterday, while a more serious poem by John Cunliffe compares a boy on the beach collecting pebbles with growing old. Pat Moon’s poem is a wonderful metaphor of the Earth as a clock: “In the thirty seconds man’s walked the earth / See what he’s managed to do. / Earth’s clock continues ticking; / The rest is up to you.” Teachers will love to share June Crebbin’s “Race Against Time” with their math students—a breathtaking race to finish a quiz. Paul Fleischman’s marvelous “Owl O’Clock” describes a young boy’s timekeeping—the sounds and rhythms of nature. The verses perfectly match the subject matter in Max Fatchen’s “Rushing”—each line is only four syllables long, making the poem a hurried rush of words. Similarly, Myra Cohn Livingston’s classic echoes the sounds of the crickets, telling the time of night. Siegen-Smith’s (A Pocketful of Stars, 1999, etc.) latest anthology will nudge readers to ponder the meaning of time, and will give teachers and parents alike a means of helping children understand this difficult concept. Manna’s (You and Me, not reviewed, etc.) watercolor-and-ink illustrations perfectly fit each poem, whether humorous, profound, sweet, or inspirational. The soft colors and details suggest mood and delightfully enhance the meaning inherent in the verse. A great collection to share with a child. And who knows—perhaps the time spent would be remembered as a special day worthy of its own poem. (Poetry. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-84148-337-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Barefoot
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2001


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