Make Magic! Do Good!
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Make Magic! Do Good!

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by Dallas Clayton
     
 

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From an exciting new face in children’s literature, Dallas Clayton, comes a book of illustrated poems full of wisdom, wonder, and whimsy.

A boy with a beard tries to stay six forever. A frightful monster lives a million miles away, but is equally scared of you. A magic rope hangs from the sky, next to a sign saying "Give me a try." In this brightly

Overview

From an exciting new face in children’s literature, Dallas Clayton, comes a book of illustrated poems full of wisdom, wonder, and whimsy.

A boy with a beard tries to stay six forever. A frightful monster lives a million miles away, but is equally scared of you. A magic rope hangs from the sky, next to a sign saying "Give me a try." In this brightly illustrated selection of playful, often provocative poems, ideas run the gamut from stopping your lightning-fast running to help others keep up, imagining a store that sells colors never before made, or admitting you’ll never know all the answers (and sleeping better at night). Following the runaway success of his self-published debut, Dallas Clayton’s quirky, captivating collection makes it clear that this rising talent, whose work has evoked comparisons to Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, and Shel Silverstein, exudes a spirit and style all his own.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
To get a sense of the tone of this poetry collection from Clayton (An Awesome Book!), look no further than the illustration note on the copyright page, which says the artwork was "done in two parts positive vibes and three parts watercolor rainbow sprinkles." Recurring themes in the nearly 50 poems include seizing the day, making friends of enemies, being kind, and blazing one's own trail. "ou won't be fast forever/ so the clever thing to do/ is to stop and help the others keep up/ because someday/ they'll be you," writes Clayton in "Running!" while "You Never Know" cautions, "Be nice to your friends,/ 'cause you never know/ when you'll be stuck/ in ten feet of snow/ with nowhere to stay/ and nowhere to go." What keeps the collection from sinking under its own good intentions are Clayton's illustrations, which are whimsical but not saccharine, and his sense of humor, which peeks through in poems like "The Breaks," in which a bear claims he broke his leg "just walking," before outlining the laundry list of daredevil stunts ("I jumped off a roof/ and onto a bike...") that accompanied said walk. Ages 7–up. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Clayton succinctly delivers a number of behavioral tips looking to foster kindness, generosity, courage and spontaneity in the next generation.
—Kirkus Reviews

This is an uplifting read, a little wonder that speaks of the magic and good in everyone and the importance of following one’s dreams.
—School Library Journal

Each of these poems overflow with joy and optimism.
—GeekDad (Wired.com)

Children's Literature - Enid Portnoy
Here is a quirky, imaginative collection of poetry that will provide many seeds for thought and discussion. These short poems spin, rub, twist and grab young listeners and readers. There are pictures of animals that cavort across the pages, drawn by the author for us to look at more than once. These creatures, plus one little boy of about six who keeps reappearing seem to smile at us when the author is posing weighty questions. Clayton continually nudges us to get up and do amazing things in our youth! Why not? He does them as an adult. He poses one generation moving into another, or between two generations, and asks us to think of how we can make the most of the time we have now. Clayton encourages children to both talk and listen, and reach out to people we would like as friends. If young children do not fully realize the messages being shared in a poem part of the fun can be for an older reader to share some ideas with them. Clayton's poems are reminiscent of the work of Shel Silverstein, and have the whimsy of A.A. Milne, as well. Take a chance to expand a child's imagination by giving them a poetry collection like this one. The last poem in the book reflects the title chosen for the book. It encourages the listener and the reader to make magic inside themselves to create a better world. That theme is reflected throughout the poems. The book has been praised and endorsed by many actors and actresses as a lovely addition to a child's library. It is a book that will grow as the child does. Good poetry always has surprises and this book is no exception. Clayton's purpose in this collection is to present poetry that sings of the wonders of the world, so children can stretch their dreams and hold on to their wishes, and create the good world we can all appreciate.
School Library Journal
.K Up—Clayton's work continues to grow and be infused with love and artistry. The imaginative life of his poems is reminiscent of Shel Silverstein's work. There is no sacrifice for the sake of rhyme; each one is just right and there's plenty of wisdom and humor. In "Xavier Xing Xu," Xavier is disappointed that the world doesn't contain more words like his name so he sets about finding friends to help "make it an art/to change all the S words/and put X at the start." The results are quite funny. Roughly hewn mixed-media drawings of pig-nosed unicorns, furry fleas, dragons and turtles, whales and giraffes support the warm, light tone. Wise advice is gently handled in a short verse that considers how it may not be best to be first: "second place may do just fine/in a race to hug a porcupine." Clayton wants to "share his happiness with you." This is an uplifting read, a little wonder that speaks of the magic and good in everyone and the importance of following one's dreams.—Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Indie best-seller Clayton (An Awesome Book!, 2012) offers this light collection of didactic verse for young readers as his traditional-publishing debut. Accompanying these short lyric poems are Clayton's own free-wheeling illustrations done with "two parts positive vibes and three parts watercolor sprinkles," making for two-page spreads that give these potent messages added levity and much-needed breathing room. Many of these works make no bones about driving home clear imperatives like those found in the volume's title piece: "Make magic / do good. / Be who you are. / Be what you should." But Clayton's more compelling poems are those that are downright silly--"Did you hear about the race? / Hooray! I came in second place. / And second place will do just fine / in a race to hug a porcupine"--or whose lessons are slightly muted, as in "Butterfly": "If you find a caterpillar / and you keep it in a jar, / just think of how your life would be / if you weren't where you are, / if someone put you in a bowl / or in a tiny box / or in an old aquarium / filled with shiny rocks." While Clayton succinctly delivers a number of behavioral tips looking to foster kindness, generosity, courage and spontaneity in the next generation, his poetic touch is sometimes heavy-handed. Let the effervescence in the pictures leaven the didacticism of the poems. (Poetry. 6-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763657468
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
11/13/2012
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
392,571
Product dimensions:
8.18(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Clayton succinctly delivers a number of behavioral tips looking to foster kindness, generosity, courage and spontaneity in the next generation.
—Kirkus Reviews

This is an uplifting read, a little wonder that speaks of the magic and good in everyone and the importance of following one’s dreams.
—School Library Journal

Each of these poems overflow with joy and optimism.
—GeekDad (Wired.com)

Meet the Author

Called "the New Dr. Seuss," Dallas Clayton is known for his vivid use of colors, powerful themes, out-of-the-box-thinking and magical word play. Clayton has carved out quite a path for himself in a very short period on the book scene earning big name celebrity endorsements as well as multiple brand collaborations. Clayton makes his home in Los Angeles, but can be found touring the world relentlessly, reading to kids from preschool to college age, painting murals, playing music and spreading his message of the importance of following your dreams.

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Make Magic Do Good: An Awesome Book of Poetry 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
carynking More than 1 year ago
Exceptional Book with exceptional poetry of "DO GOOD" messages for children.  My son was given this book for his birthday last year.  Now it is my go to book for his friends.