Poetry Picture Book
For ages 7 and up
Houghton Mifflin, 2013, 978-0-547-72128-6
Finding a true close friend who is happy to share good times (and bad times) is a not easy, and if you have such a person in your life you are truly lucky. In this collection of eighteen poems, Calef Brown pairs his unique paintings with little poems that explore friendships of all kinds. He looks at the special affection that can grow between friends and family members.
Early on in the book we hear from two boys who feel that they “go together / like fingers and thumbs.” They are “Genuine chums” who feel that they have won “the buddy lottery” because they have each other. Then there is the dog who, when his friend rings him up on the phone, runs over to his friend’s house down busy streets “through the hurried masses.” The dog gets “more / and more pep” in his step the closer he gets to his friend’s home.
Friends can, with just a smile, make you feel better, which is what happens to the person talking to us in the poem Scrootin’ Eyes. We read about how the narrator’s friend’s smile makes the narrator experience “heart twinkles.”
Friends are also the perfect people to have around when something goes wrong. In the poem Thank you we read about how a person tries not to fall to pieces when he gets a splinter in his hand. He knows that his dearest person will take care of the problem with tweezers and some soothing balm.
With touches of humor and warmth and wonderful imagery, Calef Brown gives us a collection of poems that can be shared with anyone special who makes the world a better place. Readers can dip into the book and will emerge feeling better about life. They will be reminded that there are dear people in their lives who care about them; people who share giggles, who heal hurts, and who know us so well that they know how to make us happy.