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Grade 4-6-Many bits and pieces, some ambiguous or fragmentary, and others humorous or reflective, make up this substantial assemblage. Some of the poems have appeared in other publications and others are new. Kuskin provides an appealing introductory poem reminiscing on her writing of poetry since childhood. Arranged in thematic groups, the selections range over various categories of animals, seasons, wizards and other magical creatures, and night experiences. None of the poems are titled, which tends to blur the distinction among them. Small cartoon sketches here and there echo the often humorous tone of the poetry. Though some entries are but snippets of rhyme, patient readers will discover many enjoyable nuggets. Many pieces also encourage readers to be responsive observers of the natural world. Parents and teachers will find good read-aloud fare here.
Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. Long overdue, this collection brings together more than 40 years of Kuskin's poetry, as well as several newly published selections. Divided thematically rather than chronologically, the poems focus on Kuskin's favorite topics: animals and other creatures, the seasons, food, day and night, and our secret selves--"the outside me" and the "me inside of me." As always, Kuskin's sounds and playful nonsense are irresistible: "Butter / butter / butter / butter / that's a word / I love to utter." There is often surprising, blunt humor: "Pigeons love a dusty crumb. / The fact is that / they're pretty dumb." Some poems capture a melancholy loneliness with startling, beautiful imagery: "One child put her thin arms around the wind / and they went off together / Later the wind came back alone." The book's handsome design resembles a Shel Silverstein collection with small ink drawings--subtle, funny, and wild--on spacious cream-colored pages. Sly, joyful, wise, and filled with delicious sounds, these are poems that, collected together, will invite new generations of children to delight in the simplest words and explore their own secret selves. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.