THE BURGER AND THE HOT DOG

Kids who devour poems by Silverstein and Prelutsky will sink their teeth into this collection of poetry featuring a banquet of fanciful food characters. There’s a teacher named Frankie Fish Stick, pungent cheeses named Woodrow and Wanda, and a couple of eager eggs named Yack and Yimmy (two very “yolly guys,” who are—naturally—full of funny “yolks”). Aylesworth (The Tale of Tricky Fox, 2001, etc.) includes lots of favorite foods in his 23 rhyming poems: pizza, bagels, cake, pickles, even chewing gum. Several poems convey subtle lessons about behavior, as in “Nellie and Bill,” the story of a sweet pickle who is a more pleasant friend than her sourpuss dill pickle companion. Some poems are pure dessert, as in “Veggie Soup,” the story of a country/western band with Bo Beet on fiddle and Tex Tater on guitar, or the title poem, which has a soda breaking up a fight and threatening to kick the participants in the buns. Creative teachers will find lots of ways to integrate these poems into the classroom, especially to liven up lessons on nutrition and the food pyramid. The final poem, “Up to You,” encourages young readers to write their own poems about “food folks.” Caldecott Medalist Gammell (Ride, p. 258, etc.) has cooked up a batch of humorous, mixed-media illustrations in a loose, washy style, using coffee for the brown tones for additional thematic flavor. (Poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83897-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2001

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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