UP THE HILL AND DOWN

POEMS FOR THE VERY YOUNG

Nearly a quarter of the 29 short, conventional rhymes in this rather self-serving collection are Smith’s own, and all are reprints. The roster of other contributors includes F. Scott Fitzgerald and Carson McCullers, but after that the names are familiar mainstays of children’s poetry collections: David McCord, X.J. Kennedy, Dorothy Aldis, Aileen Fisher, and the like. Mixing paint with paper collage, Eitzen illustrates each poem with a scene featuring children or animals, generally looking reflectively off to the side or into the distance. Though most of the poems are thematically paired, Smith’s “The Mirror,” for instance, with Gwendolyn Brooks’s “Do you ever look in a looking glass / And see a stranger there?,” Smith seldom displays much ingenuity in making the matches, and in several cases abandons the effort altogether, as if it were too much work. An ordinary gathering, likely to be lost in the shuffle—and deservedly so. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-56397-028-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2003

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POCKET POEMS

With an eye toward easy memorization, Katz gathers over 50 short poems from the likes of Emily Dickinson, Valerie Worth, Jack Prelutsky, and Lewis Carroll, to such anonymous gems as “The Burp”—“Pardon me for being rude. / It was not me, it was my food. / It got so lonely down below, / it just popped up to say hello.” Katz includes five of her own verses, and promotes an evident newcomer, Emily George, with four entries. Hafner surrounds every selection with fine-lined cartoons, mostly of animals and children engaged in play, reading, or other familiar activities. Amid the ranks of similar collections, this shiny-faced newcomer may not stand out—but neither will it drift to the bottom of the class. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-525-47172-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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DINOSAURS GALORE!

A dozen familiar dinosaurs introduce themselves in verse in this uninspired, if colorful, new animal gallery from the authors of Commotion in the Ocean (2000). Smiling, usually toothily, and sporting an array of diamonds, lightning bolts, spikes and tiger stripes, the garishly colored dinosaurs make an eye-catching show, but their comments seldom measure up to their appearance: “I’m a swimming reptile, / I dive down in the sea. / And when I spot a yummy squid, / I eat it up with glee!” (“Ichthyosaurus”) Next to the likes of Kevin Crotty’s Dinosongs (2000), illustrated by Kurt Vargo, or Jack Prelutsky’s classic Tyrannosaurus Was A Beast (1988), illustrated by Arnold Lobel, there’s not much here to roar about. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-58925-044-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2005

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