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Popcorn: Poems Hardcover – April 14, 1998

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First Edition edition (April 14, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688152619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688152611
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,463,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like Stevenson's Sweet Corn, this inviting companion book of poems is graced by loose watercolor and black-ink sketches, skewed and inventive typography and clever layouts. A touching sequence about a dog named Chelsea and a wistful, nostalgic poem or two are balanced by the humor of poems in which the language is more playful and unexpected. In "Dredge," for instance, "The dredge dredges sludge:/ Sludge like fudge,/ Sludge that won't budge,/ Sludge you wouldn't care to tudge." The especially amusing "My New Bird Book" contains footnotes with references to nonexistent pages. Nonetheless, many of the entries here seem more pensive and reflective than those in Sweet Corn. In the "Picnic Table," for example, devoid of "the paper plates, the ketchup/ The napkins.... The table waits/ For next time." Another poem looks under the hull of a beached ship, quietly noting that "Where dolphins rolled,/ A golden dog lies sleeping/ In the shade." These unrhymed, free verses seem like yellowed snapshots, loving pictures of the ordinary world carefully preserved by a close observer but lacking substance. More successful poems present a fuller thought?how the poet notices that a spring crocus "no bigger than a baby's thumb/ Just arrived from the center of the earth, bearing a message:/ Soon," or how the husked corn's "threads of yellow silk" in "zig-zags, scribbles, loops, and swirls" spell out "What a party!" Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-6AStevenson's brief, descriptive poems, each of which is accompanied by a pen-and-ink and/or watercolor drawing, are about life near the seashore. Driftwood, fog, crab shells, and morning mist are among the subjects. While a few of the selections are slight in style and interest, many are exquisite in use of language and point of view. Some of the illustrations are full page, others are small decorations; all reflect the mood of the poem to a tee. The typeface itself changes from page to page in shape, style, and color depending on the topic under discussion. One piece twists upon the page, while another needs to be held upside down to be read fully. Stevenson's briefest poems are his best. "Under the Hull" has a Haiku-like quality while "Crocus" is inspired in its beautiful turns of phrase. Others are touching, funny, or just plain fun to read. A fine addition to poetry collections.AElisabeth H. Hall, Arden Elementary School, Columbia, SC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Bazzett on August 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I don't read a lot of poetry, but I once bought Raymond Carver's complete poems ( All of Us: The Collected Poems ) because I liked a poem he wrote about popcorn. (And I DID like almost all of Carver's poetry, thank you very much.) So when I saw this kid book of poems by James Stevenson, an illustrator I have long admired, at a local library sale, with its title and cover pic of POPCORN, of course I picked it up to take a look. At first, I was drawn in by the color illustrations, but some of the poems also quickly sucked me in. The title poem? Yeah, I could relate to its lines about the author and a friend passing, in a theater lobby, a pile of boxes of popcorn "stacked seven feet high/And ten feet wide/and twenty feet deep."

"'Could you eat that much popcorn?' said Walker.
'I already have,' I said."

Me too, James, nearly seventy years of popcorn mania.

There's a great one about a closed up restaurant where the stacked chairs speak ("Some Say There Are Ghosts in the All-Star Restaurant"), and another about a wistful conversation between some rusting and abandoned heavy equipment ("The Mack Truck and the Shovel"). But I think I liked the dog poems best, and there are a few of them ("Chelsea's Breakfast," "Gentle Dog," and "At Last"), but perhaps the best - and the saddest - is "Chelsea: January 1985 - December 1996," beginning with the simple line: "Chelsea is gone." That's all I'm gonna give you, because, if you've ever loved a dog, to read it all is to weep.

My take on POPCORN: POEMS? They're not all great poems, but most of them are good enough. Some very nice pieces here to share with your kids or grandkids. And that last "Chelsea" poem offers a gentle way in to talk to them about where we all will go someday, even your "best friend." Yes. I recommend this book.

- Tim Bazzett, Grandpa and author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My daughter found this in our library when she was 2 1/2, and we had to buy our own copy. It remains one of our favorite books three years later. The poems are witty and fun; easy for children to understand, and entertaining for adults, too. The watercolor illustrations are wonderful. This is our favorite of Stevenson's poetry books.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I thought that this book of poems was great! The poems werereally interesting and could be really useful in a classroom. It is areally good way to get children interested in the poetry genre. It isrelatively inexspensive and I would recommend that every teacher buy this book for their class.
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