Other enjoyable books of children’s poetry I bought recently at the Springfield Friends of the Library book sale include these titles.
MOON, HAVE YOU MET MY MOTHER? the Collected Poems of Karla Kuskin, published by Laura Geringer Books, and imprint of HarperCollins in 2003. This is a 322 page volume so there’s a lot from which to choose, but one that especially appealed to me is on page 127. All the poems are untitled but this one is about summer heat and the opening line is “Heat, heat, heat.” What I like here is that you can almost feel the tortuously slow tedium and pounding heat of summer. Kuskin accomplishes this with her skillfully arranged cadence which draws out the lines, slowing the reading to fit the subject, and her selection of sounds that bring out the sweat with lines like “The flat, fat, hot of it.” If you haven’t read much Karla Kuskin poetry, here’s a chance to read a lot of it!
Next on my stack of bargain purchases: FOOTPRINTS ON THE ROOF, POEMS ABOUT THE EARTH, by Marilyn Singer, published in 2002 by Alfred A. Knopf. One of many I like in this collection is a metaphoric poem called “Dormant Dragons.” When a poem begins, “Volcanoes there are that sleep/the sleep of dragons,” you know you’re in for an memorable experience in the hands of a master word crafter. As most of you know, Marilyn was chosen by National Council for Teachers of English for its 2015 Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children.
Kalli Dakos’s book, MRS. COLE ON AN ONION ROLL, was published by Scholastic in 1995 and wound up in my stack of treasures. In this one we switch gears and enter the school yard, class, library, cafeteria, and all the rest the scene that constitutes the world of young students. Kalli is all about having fun so everything is possible, from eating Mrs. Cole on an Onion Roll to getting into trouble for painting a fellow student’s nose green. One that made me smile is called “YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and perfectly expresses, in two brief stanzas, not only how the student feels about passing a test but how the teacher feels as well.
If I receive permission to post any of the poems I mentioned, I’ll gladly do it. Some of these titles, perhaps most of them, are out of print. I hate it when something good goes out of print. Thank goodness for libraries and used book suppliers and garage sales and flea markets and inherited boxes of books!!