Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Open the Gates: Poems for Young Readers - A review

For this Poetry Friday I have a review of a book that I read and reviewed just a few days ago. This collection will appeal to young readers who have a fondness for animals.

Dabney Stuart
Illustrated by Susan E. Elliott
Ages 6 to 10
Pinyon Publishing, 2010, 978-0-9821561-6-2
   Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a giraffe? What would it be like to live in “a world of sky and trees?” High above our heads a giraffe “in the dappling sun” munches on leaves, her head “up there in her weave/ of sky and leaves.”
   As you watch a bumblebee buzzing around a flower you might wonder if these busy little creatures “fumble,” “bumble,” “mumble,” or “tumble.” Are they as clumsy as their name suggests? They certainly work hard enough, and they seem very efficient as they fly from flower to flower. Could it be that their name really does not suit them after all?
   If you watch an armadillo, it looks as if it is slow. It seems to “wallow” under the weight of its heavy protective covering. Appearances can be deceiving though. Armadillos are actually quick on their feet, and woe betide any insect who happens to walk into an armadillo’s path. It will soon end up as armadillo food.
   For this excellent collection of poems, Dabney Stuart explores a colorful collection of animals. We read about koalas, whales, a dove, groundhogs, newts, and many more creatures of all kinds. With humor, delightful details, and interesting connections, the author paints pictures in words. Young readers are sure to enjoy the different poetry forms that they will encounter in this book, and they are sure to become fond of at least one animal that is mentioned in this poetical menagerie. 

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