CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 20. . . . June 6, 2003
Stink stank stunk,
(from "Stink Stank Stunk")
From dust bunnies to mud puddles, the topics covered in this fun, read-aloud poetry collection are sure to engage young readers. Loughead uses a variety of poetic forms including rhyming couplets, free verse and concrete poetry. She plays with language and line spacing to great effect. Her verse is by turns funny, as in "Scritchy Scratchy" ("Itchy, scritchy scratchy,/ each and every part -/lying on an ant hill/isn't very smart!"); eerily atmospheric, as in "Grandma's Cellar Door" ("And the dark is always seeping/from underneath the crack,/and stretching spooky fingers/to try to drag me back"); and reflective, as in "Small Wonders" ("I wonder about the inchworms/dangling from a tree/on threads so fine,/ they're invisible to me").
The poems appeal to all the senses and offer images such as snow "twirling in circles and sticking to my hair", and "the ocean lick[ing] my toes, wrap[ping] its salty tongue around my ankles". Children will be inspired to write from their own experiences.
Accompanying the poems are Mary Camozzi's ink and coloured pencil sketches. The animal illustrations are the most engaging and offer a variety of perspectives, including a closeup of a dog's snout and ants zig-zagging across the page.
Loughead's poetry is rhythmic and celebrates the power of imagination. The title poem is a tribute to reading. In the "Acknowledgments," it is noted that a portion of the royalties from the sales of this book will be donated to the literacy programs at Frontier College.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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