The images in this compact collection are appropriately misty—colors and shapes seen through rain. The brief poems cover many styles, including a number of translated haiku, but they are all evocative and easily grasped. Arranged by season, they follow the rain through autumn, winter, spring and summer. The compiler’s own poem, “Black Cat”—“Black cat / at a white / window-pane / watches a rose / run red / in the rain”—sits on a stark white page, the black cat curling in the lower-right corner, the window with rose in the upper left. The swirls, swoops and geometric shapes are all softened by rain. Other poets included run from Robert Frost to Issa, Hilda Conkling to Lilian Moore, R. Olivares Figueroa (translated from Spanish) to Sigbjørn Obstfelder (translated from Norwegian). Frogs and watermelons, children and shadows, owls and plum blossoms appear in these pages. Soft and refreshing. (introduction, about haiku translations) (Poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-57091-716-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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Both playful and enlightening, period.


A collection of peppy poems and clever pictures explains different forms of punctuation.

Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s “A Punctuation Tale” kicks off the proceedings with a punny description of a day full of punctuation; goodnight is “cuddled / in quotation marks.” Ensuing poems discuss the comma, the apostrophe, the dash (“A subdued dude / in tweet and text / he signals what / is coming next”), the colon, the exclamation point, and ellipses. Allan Wolf’s poem about this last is called “…” and begins, “The silent ellipsis… / replaces…words missed.” Prince Redcloud’s “Question Marks” is particularly delightful, with the question “Why?” dancing diagonally down in stair steps. The emphatic answer is a repeated “Because!” Other poems pay tribute to quotation marks, the hyphen, and the period. Michele Kruger explains “The Purpose of Parentheses”: “inside a pair / ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) / of slender curves / we’ll hold your few / inserted words.” The final poem is editor Hopkins’ own, “Lines Written for You to Think About” (inspired by Carl Sandburg), urging young readers to write their own verses employing (what else?) punctuation. The 12 poets included work with a variety of devices and styles for an always-fresh feel. Bloch’s illustrations are delightfully surprising, both illustrating each poem’s key points and playfully riffing on the punctuation itself.

Both playful and enlightening, period. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59078-994-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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A masterful salute to fatherhood.

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A collection of poetry that celebrates dads and all they do with and for their children.

The 15 poems collected here focus mostly on the tiny moments that mean so much to children and are remembered years later—the Sunday breakfasts shared between parent and child, the way dad dances his daughter around on his feet, the wrestling matches and playing catch, learning to ride a two-wheeler, and reading books together. A few are more generic: comparing dad to various animals, dad’s snoring, a cheer for dad, and one that looks at the many jobs dads have, though the narrator’s has the best—he stays at home. The line breaks and rhyme schemes make the poems accessible to those reading aloud, and the diverse array of people depicted, most of color, and different combinations (several father-and-child pairs are not of the same race) ensure that readers will find at least one like themselves in these pages. The torn-paper collages (with a few added items for buttons, a watch face, and wire-rim glasses) with no inked details mean that faces are blank slates, so the bulk of the emotion has to come from body positioning, posture, and the relations between figures on a page; Smith has mastered this, conveying so much with tilting heads and embracing arms.

A masterful salute to fatherhood. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9189-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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