If you like short poems, especially those about nature and everyday occurrences, you'll want to read the library's collection of books by Kristine O'Connell George. The author has published several books about observations in nature, such as Hummingbird Nest: A Journal of Poems that tells the story of a hummingbird that built nest in the backyard becoming the focus of one family's spring and summer. The poems are enhanced by the realistic illustrations of Barry Moser.
The Great Frog Race, Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems and Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems are three volumes of poems about the wonders of being in the outdoors, taking note of the plants and animals, birds and insects that make up an ecosystem. Kate Kiesler illustrated all three books in a calm combination of oil paints. Try to visualize the illustration for the poem, "Summer fills the empty space between two trees with a hammock." It's exactly like that.
Little Dog Poems and Little Dog and Duncan are two books about the same adorable girl and her dog, illustrated in detailed watercolors by June Otani. George's understated poems address the small pleasures of dog ownership and the special relationship children have with their dogs. The second book includes a visit from Duncan, a very large dog who brings an unusual dynamic to the group.
Emma Dilemma is a book of big sister poems from a fourth-grader to her preschool sister. As with any sibling relationship, there are great times together and there are frustrating times when you want to be an only child. Nancy Carpenter's pen and ink watercolors pick up on the moods of both sisters, increasing the impact of these endearing poems.
UP! and Book! are both aimed at preschoolers who have their own way of looking at the simple things in life. A visit to the park is a way to try out action words, while the small act of reading a book is only one of the things a youngster can use books for.
Fold Me a Poem is a series of poems centered around a child folding his own set of origami animals and thinking about the characteristics of each one. The whole book is one ongoing illustration of bright acrylics by Lauren Stringer that moves from page to page as each animal takes a turn to inspire a poem. Origami instructions can be found at www.laurenstringer.com.
Swimming Upstream is a collection of middle school poems accented with several full page spreads of pen and ink drawings by Debbie Tilley. The first one depicts students in the hallway with one boy trying to remember his locker combination. It matches a poem from page 10: "I've got your numbers. Twelveeleventwenty-one. Why won't you open?" Anyone who's been to middle school can relate to these thoughts on school, friends, and growing up.
George will be featured at the Young Authors Conference the second week of May, with a special appearance at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 at Peter White Public Library. The event is open to the public.
- Lynette Suckow
Website and Outreach Services