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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OTHER GOOSE

RE-NURSERIED AND RE-RHYMED CHILDREN'S CLASSICS

“Little boy blue / come blow your tuba. / The sheep are in Venice, / and the cow’s in Aruba.” Pairing frenetic and garishly colored art to familiar rhymes in “more modern, more fresh, and well…more Goosian” versions, Seibold stakes out Stinky Cheese Man territory to introduce “Jack and Jill / and a pickle named Bill,” the Old Woman Who Lived in a Sneaker (“She had a great big stereo speaker”), Peter Pumpkin Pickle Pepper and about two dozen more “re-nurseried” figures. Against patterned or spray-painted backgrounds, an entire page of umbrella-carrying raindrops float down, a bunch of mice run up (“the clock struck one; / the rest had fun”), cats fiddle for Old King Coal and others, Jack B. Nimble makes a lifelong career out of demonstrating his one trick and a closing rendition of the counting rhyme “One, Two, I Lost My Shoe” is transformed into a clever reprise as many of the characters return to take final bows. Sparkles on the cover; chuckles (despite some lame rhyming) throughout. (Fractured nursery rhymes. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6882-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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CORNFLAKES

Picking up where his third gathering of poetry and pictures (Candy Corn, 1999) left off, Stevenson gives wry or gently sentimental twists to 25 more everyday sights: fathers and sons in the park; bicyclists; old people and buildings; his paintbox; his wastebasket; a mountainous hamburger. As usual, he is fondest of collections, depicting sets of salt-and-pepper shakers, piles of garbage bags (“dressed in black, / wearing bow ties, / ready for the opera.`), an upside down forest of guitars hanging from a music store ceiling, and the like, with slapdash brush or pen work that captures essences with brilliant, offhand precision. The poems are equally casual, equally right, presented in a lively and attractive variety of type sizes, fonts, and colors. Tailor-made for sharing, in class or on a lap. (Poetry. 7-9, adult)

Pub Date: March 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-16718-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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