________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 12 . . . .February 8, 2008


Rhyme Stones. (Orca Echoes).

Pat Skene. Illustrated by Graham Ross.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2007.
59 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 978-1-55143-636-4.

Subject Heading:
Children's poetry, Canadian (English).

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Ruth Scales McMahon.

** /4



But sometimes troubled spots don't last.
They come and leave me just as fast.

An ointment healed my wart at night.
And soon it disappeared from sight.

Some crusty scabs fell off my shin.
And left behind a brand new skin.

My chicken pox came to an end.
But first they jumped on my best friend.

Now pimples I'm confused about.
My zits keep popping in and out.

And freckles I guess they're okay.
They really don't get in my way.

But some spots seem to stick like glue.
Most times there's nothing I can do.

So if they visit me this year,
I'll just ignore them in my mirror.

1. Toads get a bad rap.

Contrary to popular wart-lore, you can't get warts from touching toads. You get warts after catching a certain virus. And warts are contagious. For example, if you touch a towel or a pencil that someone with a wart has used you can get a wart too. Kids who bite their fingernails get warts more than kids who don't. So you can kiss a toad, but don't bite your nails.


internal artRhyme Stones is Skene's second book in this format: a fictional story told in rhyme followed by a nonfiction segment on the same subject. The broad range of subjects covered in this offering are: spelunking, bullying, witches, skin eruptions, creations with fabric, and depression. It is not completely clear what Skene is trying to accomplish with this presentation, but it is fun and interesting, and the poems were readable, albeit long. From time to time, the rhythm was awkward and other times not quite authentic, e.g. year and mirror.

      It was hard to interest my resident eight-year-old in reading this book, but generally she is interested in stories that present some facts along with the story. For libraries with some extra money to spend, Rhyme Stones may be a worthwhile addition.

Recommended with reservations.

Ruth Scales McMahon is a professional children's librarian, storyteller, co-chair of the Rocky Mountain Children's Choice Book Award, and the mother of two elementary school aged children.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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