Celebrated poets Ted Kooser along with Connie Wanek, and illustrator Richard Jones, explore figures of speech in a spirited and magical way--and invite our imaginations out to play.
A freewheeling romp through the world of imagery and metaphor, this quietly startling collection of thirty poems, framed by the four elements, is about art and reality, fact and fancy. Look around: what do you see? A clown balancing a pie in a tree, or an empty nest perched on a leafless branch? As poet Connie Wanek alludes to in her afterword--a lively dialogue with former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser--sometimes the simplest sights and sounds "summon our imaginations" and cry out to be clothed in the alchemical language of poetry. This compendium of the fleeting and unexpected turns the everyday--turtles, trees, and tadpoles; cow pies, lazy afternoons, and pillowy white marshmallows--into poetic gold. A brilliant and timeless collaboration that evokes both the mystery and grandeur of the natural world and the cozy, mundane moments of daily life, this exquisitely illustrated collection is the go-to gift book of the season for poetry fans of all ages.
Gr 4 Up--Ordinary moments sparkle with imagery, beauty, and wit in this illustrated collaboration between former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and noted poet Connie Wanek. The introductory poem, "A Disappointment," defines the rest of this collection, which is organized according to the four elements: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Jones opens the scene with a fox zooming off page, a snowy hill and bare trees behind it. The poem is on the right of this spread, and the speaker states seeing a winter tree "clowning around" on one leg. Jones's art, paint that is rendered digitally, is muted and whimsical, delicately nuanced to illustrate a dancing tree for those who want to see. Although the speaker's friend replies it is "all in my imagination," it's clear the disappointment is for those who wish to no longer imagine. The 27 poems that follow invite readers to examine the every day in another way: Meteor showers are cat's claws scraping the sky, tadpoles are lively punctuation marks, and harps are golden moths bursting with song. Each poem has a full spread with fanciful illustrations matching the capricious tone of the work. An afterword, with an extra poem by each author and an invitation to imagine, is included. An enjoyable choice for introducing poetry and literary devices for all ages. VERDICT A must purchase for all libraries.--Rachel ZuffaCopyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Former poet laureate Kooser and poet Wanek give life to inanimate objects in this collection of poems structured around expressions and the elements. In sections organized by Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, an overturned boat appears to be "peering out at the meddlesome world," while a harp is "a great golden moth." Some metaphors are lighthearted ("Oh, sandwich delicious, my book!"); others acknowledge trauma ("the place in your chest/ where it clawed you like a badger"). Jones echoes the authorial duo's restraint, and the speaker's rural familiarity with owls, meteors, plows, and more; contrasting hues provide drama, as in scenes of a bleached moon in a dark winter sky, or a red shirt against a blue sofa. The poems evoke interior perception, reveal life through the poetic gaze, and give voice to "the soft singing that goes on and on." Ages 10-up. (Mar.)Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.