Moon, Have You Met My Mother?


Write about a radish
Too many people write about the moon.

The night is black
The stars are small and high
The clock unwinds its ...

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Write about a radish
Too many people write about the moon.

The night is black
The stars are small and high
The clock unwinds its ever-ticking tune
Hills gleam dimly
Distant nighthawks cry.
A radish rises in the waiting sky.

This long-awaited, comprehensive collection by acclaimed poet Karla Kuskin contains her most celebrated poems as well as new works never before published. Whether she's writing about napping cats, reaches of beaches, or radishes as beautiful as the moon, Moon, Have You Met My Mother? amuses while it inspires.

Author Biography:

Karla Kuskin has written more than fifty books for children, Including Roar and More, The Philharmonic Gets Dressed, Soap Soup, and Any Me I Want To Be. She has two children, Nick and Julia, both of whom are professional photographers, and two darling grandchildren, Madeleine and Amelia, both of whom live abroad with their parents. Winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, she writes in Brooklyn, New York, and Arlington, Virginia, or on a porch on Bainbridge Island, Washington where she lives with her husband, William L. Bell.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A diverse collection of titles introduces young people to poetry's varying moods and styles. Kuskin will capture readers from the opening "Foreword poem" onward in Moon, Have You Met My Mother?: The Collected Poems of Karla Kuskin, illus. by Sergio Ruzzier, which not only introduces the poems to come, but also succinctly expresses why she writes. New works share space with fans' dog-eared favorites, such as the sad tale of Charlie and the cat who goes missing "when they were neither here not there,/ stopping for gas/ along the road in Maine," or her advice to "Write about a radish/ Too many people write about the moon." Her humor infuses verse to entertain ("The lion looks extremely proud./ But when he eats,/ he chews too loud") as well as to make the medicine go down ("I need to read./ It's a little like breathing/ or eating/ or drinking/ my life's link to thinking"). Ruzzier's line illustrations resemble some of Sendak's early drawings, with just the right blend of sophistication and levity.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Many bits and pieces, some ambiguous or fragmentary, and others humorous or reflective, make up this substantial assemblage. Some of the poems have appeared in other publications and others are new. Kuskin provides an appealing introductory poem reminiscing on her writing of poetry since childhood. Arranged in thematic groups, the selections range over various categories of animals, seasons, wizards and other magical creatures, and night experiences. None of the poems are titled, which tends to blur the distinction among them. Small cartoon sketches here and there echo the often humorous tone of the poetry. Though some entries are but snippets of rhyme, patient readers will discover many enjoyable nuggets. Many pieces also encourage readers to be responsive observers of the natural world. Parents and teachers will find good read-aloud fare here.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Here are anthologized some 309 pages worth of poems from one of children’s literature’s most well-established poets. Arranged thematically, the collection moves chapter by chapter from consideration of dogs, cats, and other animals, to the seasons, to contemplation of the self, and finally to the moon of the title. Kuskin (The Animals and the Ark, 2002, etc.) has been recognized for her sense of rhythm and her ability to fine-tune a poem for the youngest audiences; indeed, many of these poems appeared in Harper’s "I Can Read" books for beginning readers. When she is at her best, she can form, very simply, an image that will allow a reader to see what is being described in new ways: "There is a bed / inside my head / and when the day is long / I curl within / my outside skin / and sing myself a song." Unfortunately, the encyclopedic nature of this collection results in an inevitable feeling of sameness about many of these poems; the poet’s frequent habit of undercutting a poem in its coda--"Dear shell, / you curve extremely well / . . . / Dear shell, / you also smell"--repeated over and over loses its freshness and becomes nothing but a cute device. Despite the thematic arrangement, one gets the sense that many of these poems, which when originally published bore some relationship of form to one another (there are a great number of riddle-poems, for instance, here scattered among the others, as well as the very simple verses for beginning readers), were simply dumped in with little regard for how they relate to their neighbors in this new incarnation. Kuskin’s verse is best when presented intimately, to specific audiences; this mammoth collection makes what can be delightful in smallservings cloying and tiresome when biggie-sized. Ruzzier’s (Don’t Know Much About Space, not reviewed, etc.) cartoons are fanciful but occasionally rather grotesque--they do not noticeably contribute to the success of the volume, but neither do they materially detract. For those who want it all in one place. (Poetry. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060271749
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Karla Kuskin wrote more than fifty books for children, including the Philharmonic Gets Dressed, Green as a Bean, and Moon, Have You Met My Mother She was the winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry, among other honors. And once, long ago, may have given her son a woolly red hat.

Sergio Ruzzier creates pictures and stories for books, magazines, and newspapers. He is also the illustrator of Moon, Have You Met My Mother?, the collected works of Karla Kuskin. Born in Italy, he now lives in New York with his wife and their daughter, Viola.

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