Earth verses and water Rhymes

Earth verses and water Rhymes

by J. Patrick Lewis, Robert Sabuda

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this assortment of 17 verses, Lewis's crisply visual language is enticingly original, peppered with vivid metaphors. The red fox in the moonlight is ``dipping / her paintbrush paws / into the drifts she loves.'' Summer ``is a long yellow gown / Fitted to the fields and farms.'' Unlike the author's A Hippopotamusn't , which highlights his whimsy and humor, the poems here are clever and thoughtful. Although some of the rhymes are technically complicated, they are perfectly suited for children with a proclivity for wordplay and fun. The spring rain, having awakened worms and spanked frogs, shakes the petal hands of tulips and says ``How do you dew?'' Sabuda's ( Walden ; I Hear America Singing ) striking linoleum prints are more successful when not depicting people, but his panoramas of nature--moonlight on the ocean, an owl in the fog--convey the ``honeycomb'' days of July and the ``dark December'' of winter that Lewis so aptly describes. Ages 7-10. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Poets come from all walks of life. J. Patrick Lewis, for example, is an economist by profession. In Earth Verses and Water Rhymes, handsomely illustrated by Robert Sabuda, the poet-by-avocation introduces new ways to see and listen to nature: Mushrooms dance "tipping their caps...;" July brings "Brown sugar nights / Honeycomb days / Cinnamon afternoons..."; and "The old October Ogres come / Without a fee-fi-fo or fum:/ They lumber in tum-tum-ti-tum." If that giant chant doesn't ring a bell with children, it will when next they hear it in a poem or story.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-- Those who loved Lewis's A Hippopotamustn't (Dial, 1990) won't be disappointed in this one. More meditative in tone, the collection of 17 poems begins in the fall, moves through winter and spring, and ends up in Indian summer, a nicely satisfying progression. The selections are short, and they deal with everyday subjects such as snowflakes, foxes, lighthouses, the wind, grasshoppers, and cats. One can imagine parent and child cuddling up to read this book together at bedtime or just as easily picture a teacher using it in the classroom. Lewis knows when to let strong, supple words reveal their unadorned beauty: ``Juniper, hickory, walnut, fig/ Make a wish on a twisted twig . . . Sycamore, cinnamon, buckeye, beech/ Earth's umbrellas bloom out of reach.'' Other times he invokes unusual images with excellent effect. Sabuda's handcut linoleum prints, executed in soft, muted tones of gold, olive, blue, green, and tan, convey a contemplative mood. One can almost feel the delicious coolness of a frog pond or sense the mystery of a winter woods at midnight. The lack of margins seems just right: it's as though words and pictures take over and can't be contained. There's magic in these 32 pages; don't miss it. --Ellen D. Warwick, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
8.09(w) x 10.35(h) x 0.46(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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