BASHO AND THE FOX by Tim Myers

BASHO AND THE FOX

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Myers obscures his point in this original tale, which features the famous poet and a fox who challenges him to write a poem that “ ‘needn’t be great—only good.’ ” When Basho tries to drive a fox away from a prize cherry tree, the animal—standing on two legs and clad in a gorgeously patterned robe—issues its dare, haughtily declaring that his kind are far superior to humans as poets. The fox pooh-poohs Basho’s first two carefully crafted efforts, then professes awed delight at his desperately extemporaneous third—“Summer moon over / mountains is white as the tip / of a fox’s tail.” Why does this one satisfy? Because Basho has put a fox in it. Myers then closes with several conclusions, which are so subtle as to risk being missed by the reader. Han’s precisely drafted watercolors (Kongi and Potgi, 1994) place her figures in a leafy, semi-wild landscape bursting with inspiration for a nature poet. The muddled message keeps this from succeeding completely as a story, but, like Matthew Gollub’s Cool Melons, Turn to Frogs! The Life and Poems of Issa (1998), it could introduce a poet who should be known to every poetry reader. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-7614-5068-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2000




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