Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: a Forest of Poems


by Deborah Ruddell, illustrated by Joan Rankin
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.
Ruddell and Rankin's collaboration on Today at the Bluebird Cafe yields further fruit in this delightful collection of nature poems. In these pages a turkey is miffed at the uninspired coloration of a child's hand-traced portrait of his feathers; the author suggests a spa for squirrels where they can temporarily lay down their frenzied existences in favor of " . . . all the walnuts she can eat/and pedicures for all four feet." A badger writes an ode to his beloved, and "pinstriped" squirrels work all day sans thanks for the "Acorn Savings Banks." One of my favorites is "Spring Welcome" in which "a million arms in woody sleeves/wave a zillion brand-new leaves." And welcome indeed is this new book of kid-friendly verse.

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