From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9. One season, one slender volume, 33 gently evocative poems. Ordinary Things is a quiet book that begs readers to look around, observe nature, and experience a walk through the woods in spring. The poems are the soul of brevity, often with no more than 12 or 16 lines, and embrace objects as common as birds' nests, birch trees, and a rug of leaves. Closer looks reveal shed snakeskins, ancient arrowheads and fossils, and even a discarded, rusty VW Beetle. Fletcher reminds young people that such a walk can be mind-clearing and therapeutic. "Each footstep is like a word/as it meets the blank page/followed by a pause/before the next one:/step, step, word...." All the senses are at work in these selections, as Fletcher reflects on the "monotonous chant" of frogs, the sweetness of maple syrup, the sight of mailboxes that look like "old people dancing slowly cheek-to-cheek," and the feel of "hot horse breath on my cheek." Krudop's pencil drawings extend and enhance the natural woodland images. The next time readers take a leisurely, head-clearing walk, they may wish to recall the author's observations and create their own.?Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4^-6, younger for reading aloud. In Fletcher's poetry, observations on ordinary things reveal more complex thoughts and emotions. The poems in this collection would make strong choices for reading aloud throughout the year. Younger listeners might marvel, as Fletcher does in "Birds' Nests," when his grandmother throws some of his freshly cut hair on the ground outside so that later the hair could be "woven into a bird's wild tapestry." Older readers may understand the desire to look for arrowheads while out walking: to "hold one in my hand / I want to touch the tip of history." Karen Morgan