________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 38 . . . . June 3, 2011

cover

Better Together.

Sheryl & Simon Shapiro. Illustrated by Dusan Petricic.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2011.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $8.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-278-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-279-9 (hc.).

Subject Heading:
Combinations-Juvenile poetry.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.

Review by Michelle Lawrence.

** /4

   

excerpt:

Goodnight

Just one more glass of water, and one more time to pee,
and one more check beneath the bed
for monsters Ė wait for me.

You have to read a story
before you hug me tight.
And then I need a goodnight kiss,
but donít turn off the light!

Better Together is a series of 13 silly poems about what can happen when you mix different objects together.

internal art      While most of the poems are independently cute, have a good rhythm and rhyme scheme with fun pictures, collectively the book is lacking. Four of the 13 poems were about food, two were about people working together, and one was identified by the authors, themselves, as having nothing to do with mixtures. The other poems touched on a wide variety of topics, making the overall theme incohesive. If the authors had flushed out the topic a little further and had sections within the book for recipes, arts and crafts, team work, etc., it would have created a better flow and overall concept. Alternatively, they could have gotten rid of the theme as it felt forced in some poems.

      The poems are age appropriate in language and length with a lighthearted feel that children would enjoy listening to or reading themselves. The illustrations are simple, clean and support the poems well.

      Overall, children will get a laugh from some of the poems and probably will want to test them out; however, for the purpose of teaching mixtures, it seems a bit contrived.

Recommended.

Michelle Lawrence is an educator and music therapist in Winnipeg, MB.

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

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ISSN 1201-9364
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