From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4–The author and illustrator of Lunch Box Mail
and Other Poems
(Holt, 2001) turns her artistic and wordplay talents to a celebration of a year's worth of holidays–from the familiar, like Easter, Passover, and April Fool's Day, to those less well-known to some children, such as Ramadan. There's even one about the switch to daylight savings time. The collection is organized by season, and each of the 78 original poems is accompanied by a richly detailed ink illustration. Neither the rhyme nor the meter is forced, and the poems remain rooted in child-based experiences. Move over Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky–there's a new comic poetry writer on the block.–Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME
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The subtitle serves up the contents of these 80-some poems illustrated with gouache-and-pen doodles, similar to Whitehead's Lunch Box Mail (2001). Divided into seasons, the poems cover traditional holidays and lesser-celebrated ones, like Flag Day, Friendship Day, Daylight Savings Time, Teacher Appreciation Day, plus cultural and religious holidays, such as Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Chinese New Year, and Kwanzaa. The sometimes offbeat rhythms are redeemed by the consistent child's point of view. "A Long-Distance Connection—Phone call hugs, / Fridge photo smiles, / Traveling for miles and miles; / In a car, letter, or thought—/ Nana visits me a lot!" Though the text layout echoes the occasion ("Camp-A-Lot" is a letter tacked to a bulletin board; "It's Hanukkah" curves the type along the lines of a menorah), the crowded page design curdles the stew, losing some of the whimsical flavor in the details and side comments. The poems, however, which vary in length from two lines to six stanzas, will be a boon to teachers and librarians. Cummins, Julie Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved