"I Don't Like Koala," declares young Adam upon opening his stuffed present. Who can blame him? The marsupial's eerie yellow eyes seem to follow his owner wherever he goes.
This is often the case with stuffed animals. What may be cute and cuddly to one person comes off as creepy to another. Koala's looks are just the beginning, though. Adam tries to hide his toy around the house. Every morning he wakes up to find the creature . . . right next to him.
April is National Poetry Month, which is a perfect time to highlight all the amazing poetry that is out there, but . . . UGH . . . POETRY. At least, that’s how I used to feel. When I was a kid I LOVED poetry, especially Shel Silverstein. But as I got older, and school started requiring me to think about the poetry we were reading and what the deeper meaning might be, I started to resent it. I mean, couldn’t I just ENJOY the poetry instead of trying to decipher how the poet might have been feeling when he wrote it? Apparently not.
Then I started working as a youth services librarian, and I was introduced to novels in verse. All of those middle school and high school memories came flooding back, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Until I read one. Then I read another and another. Finally, I realized I LOVED novels in verse! Why? Because they are complete stories told through a collection of poetry. Poetry rarely takes up a whole page, which made the books super fast to read! It also amazed me how by simply changing the spacing or even font size within a poem an additional meaning was made clear.
If the crayons can’t stop the scribble monster, then this picture book might be cancelled!
How can a picture book be cancelled?
In The Only Child, a girl leaves home without telling her parents, hoping to visit her grandma. She soon finds herself lost, alone, and afraid in the woods. When she comes across a mighty stag, her fortunes turn as a magical adventure begins.
Joyce Sidman’s and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees & Other Poems expresses in verse the wonders of wintertime while teaching about what is going on while the world is frozen. The poems themselves are delightful for young readers as they look out at the forest through the animals’ eyes:
When a blizzard buries her hometown of Geoppolis, it’s up to tough tractor Katy to switch from pushing a bulldozer to pushing a snowplow.