Kirkus Reviews QR Code
PEACOCK by Valerie Worth


and Other Poems

by Valerie Worth & illustrated by Natalie Babbitt

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 19th, 2002
ISBN: 0-374-35766-8
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Readers who cherish All the Small Poems, and Fourteen More (1994) will welcome this posthumous gathering of 26 more, all but three previously unpublished. In free verse lines seldom longer than three or four words, Worth writes, mostly, about common things: a pencil, a panda, an old dog, blue jeans “slowly / Ripening into / A friendliness, / A homely / Familiar / skin.” Fond of metaphor she may be, but her imagery is as easy to comprehend as her simple language, her uncomplicated personal reactions, and such observations as, in the wry title poem, the fact that the peacock may be grand, but “his freckled / Brown wife / Rambles around / Him, plain, / And free.” Babbitt’s small, exactly detailed vignettes seem to float alongside these concise, child-friendly, often (seemingly) artless poems, reinforcing their gnomic elegance. (Poetry. 7-10)