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Comment: 1 inch tear to dust jacket. Pages clean and unmarked, binding tight.
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Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems Hardcover – April 1, 2001


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Frequently Bought Together

Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems + S Is for S'mores: A Camping Alphabet (Alphabet Books) + When We Go Camping
Price for all three: $34.33

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061804597X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618045976
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-George has penned 30 sublimely simple poems that capture the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of a family's camping trip, from pitching the tent to pulling up stakes and returning home. All of the selections convey a child-focused sense of wonder as the campers explore the lakefront and surrounding terrain, enjoy the marvels of the natural world, relish meals round the campfire, and toast marshmallows ("This is art-/a time of serious reflection/as my pillowed confection/slowly reaches golden perfection"). The poems are varied and inventive, replete with marvelous images and universal truths. There's even a selection devoted to the "Mosquito Song." Each one is accompanied by a well-executed and evocative acrylic painting. Some of Kiesler's artwork sweeps across double pages to provide a dramatic vista-a meandering hiking trail, a field of wild mustard, a star-studded night sky-while other pictures reveal small, but equally telling details. In "Flannel," the child is shown holding her pine-, smoke-, and moss-scented camping shirt to her face, paired with the words, "I keep it hidden/in my bottom drawer-/where no one will find it/and wash away/my memories." A terrific idyll for summertime sharing, even for confirmed couch potatoes.
Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

George deftly describes the satisfying sequence of familiar events in a summer camping experience in this collection of 30 related poems perfectly paired once again with Kiesler's inviting oil paintings (The Great Frog Race and Other Poems, 1998 etc.) The daily rhythms of a camping trip are presented from the "Tent" to exploring an "Abandoned Cabin" to observing "A Doe." Shared common experiences include "Sleeping Bag': "It's so cold outside. I'm getting dressed inside/my sleeping bag. I wriggle, scootch, scrunch, and jiggle. Flop/Front flips, back flips—I'm a caterpillar/in a cozy cloth cocoon/that zips." Short pieces like "Mosquito Song" demonstrate pointed wordplay with a witty use of alliteration and onomatopeia. "It's Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!/Mosqueeeeeeeeeto!/Is that you, Dinner?/Greeeeeeeeetings." Kiesler expresses the changing vistas of the countryside from the uneasy, dark palette of the double-page spread for "Storm" to the bright, sunshiny view of a field for "Wild Mustard." The changing layout of each page gives a sense of surprise to the most ordinary of events, the words of the concrete poem, "Eavesdropping," "Tipping/a slender/silver ear" placed in the shape of a cresent moon, the stanzas of "Flashlight" positioned in the beams of light to name just a few. Altogether an engaging trip.
Kirkus Reviews

Like their previous collaboration, The Great Frog Race and Old Elm Speaks, this volume by George and Kiesler is as delicious as a toasted marshmallow treat. George's poems are well crafted, varied and easily accessible. The topics range from a tent-shaped poem about the careful raising of the family's canvas lodging to post-trip unpacking, in which a child tucks away a flannel shirt perfumed in scents of pine, wood fire and forest moss in her "bottom drawer—/where no one will find it/and wash away [her] memories." Though Kielser's human figures are sometimes wooden, she suffuses her acrylic landscapes with light filtered through leaves. A few of the illustrations seem too idyllic and scrubbed (in "Abandoned Cabin," its "crumbling fireplace" looks newly constructed; in another, the brother's "grubby hands" seem freshly washed). Yet George's poems shine, the images clear and startling. A "panther cloud crosses the sky"; after a storm, a "confetti of birds... dance another rain shower." A concrete poem in the shape of a waning moon is exquisite: "Tipping/a slender/silver ear,/Moon tries/to pretend/she isn't/listening/to our/secrets." Readers will definetly want S-mores.
Publishers Weekly, Starred

"fine collection brings the outdoors up close...direct, satisfying poems that will engage kids at school, across the curriculum, or at home." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

The poems are varied and inventive, replete with marvelous images and universal truths. . . .A terrific idyll for summertime sharing, even for confirmed couch potatoes.
School Library Journal, Starred

The pleasure and surprise of going camping are conveyed in eighteen brief poems. . . .Richly colored paintings enhance the verses.
Horn Book Guide

Whether playful or profound, the exquisitely crafted poems reverberate with eloquent yet effortless language, while the radiant acrylic artwork hints at the awe-inspiring mysteries of nature.
SLJ Best Books of the Year

More About the Author

Kristine O'Connell George is one of the principal voices in contemporary children's poetry. Awards for her books include the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, International Reading Association / Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, the Golden Kite, Myra Cohn Livingston Poetry Awards, Claudia Lewis Awards, ALA notables, NCTE notables, School Library Journal Best Books, Hornbook Fanfare, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, and IRA-CBC Children's Choice.

Her most recent book, Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems, received the Claudia Lewis Award from Bank Street and was named an ALA Notable, School Library Journal Best Book, and Bulletin Blue Ribbon.

Kristine lives in a rural area in Southern California with her family and their rescue dog, Riley.

Visit her website, www.kristinegeorge.com for audio clips, teacher's guides, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
They are short, sweet and to the point, but very meaningful.
Emily Hawkins
There are, in each of Kristine O'Connell George's books, moments that make you gasp with the depth of insight she's put into words.
Sue Alexander
Our family loves this book, and identifies with most of the experiences.
Grandma Sandy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sue Alexander on May 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
There are, in each of Kristine O'Connell George's books, moments that make you gasp with the depth of insight she's put into words. "Toasting Marshmallows" is no different in that respect and is a joy to read. George has captured the sights, sounds -- and silences that are part of camping. With humor and joy, the camping experience -- from setting up the tent to listening to an owl --is illuminated and enhanced by the words in this delightful book of poems. A treasure for the summer -- and all year round!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Emily Hawkins on December 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
After serving as a girl scout camp counselor for a summer, the poetry in this book certainly has meaning to me. The poems are wonderfully supported by soft painted illustrations. The story behind the poetry is a girl and her family going on a camping trip together... maybe an annual event. Written in her point of view, there are images of the animals she sees, scenes from the campsite, interactions with her family, introspective reactions to nature and the trip home.

I like the poetry itself for its imagery and emotional value. They are short, sweet and to the point, but very meaningful. I think my favorite poem is the one about the girl and her brother arguing about what is making the sounds at night outside their tent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grandma Sandy on October 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our family loves this book, and identifies with most of the experiences. We bring it on every camping trip and read it by the fire. I wish I could find more books like it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen on April 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do you have someone in your family who burns their marshmallows black and another who patiently waits for it to turn golden brown? There is a poem for that! If you love poetry and nature, you will love this book! Get your children hooked on poetry with this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Welde on January 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Writing that pulls you in....illustrations to make you feel like you are there. This is one of my favorite poetry books! Perfect to read with your children before a camping trip, or under their bedcovers with a flashlight. A perfect book to use during a camping theme for a birthday party or home learning or in a classroom. From nature to tent talk to camping equipment, this book uses glorious words and vivid pictures to take your brain camping.
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