Popcorn

Popcorn

by James Stevenson
     
 

Here is James Stevenson's follow-up to his popular poetry collection, Sweet Corn, which School Library Journal labeled in a starred review "A book to savor." Inside this volume are poems to make you laugh and poems to make you dream...and wonder ...and think. Some are exuberant and some are quirky and some are sad, but each and every one will leave

Overview

Here is James Stevenson's follow-up to his popular poetry collection, Sweet Corn, which School Library Journal labeled in a starred review "A book to savor." Inside this volume are poems to make you laugh and poems to make you dream...and wonder ...and think. Some are exuberant and some are quirky and some are sad, but each and every one will leave you hungry for more. So open the book, dig in-and enjoy!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like Stevenson's Sweet Corn, this inviting companion book of poems is graced by loose watercolor and black-ink sketches, skewed and inventive typography and clever layouts. A touching sequence about a dog named Chelsea and a wistful, nostalgic poem or two are balanced by the humor of poems in which the language is more playful and unexpected. In "Dredge," for instance, "The dredge dredges sludge:/ Sludge like fudge,/ Sludge that won't budge,/ Sludge you wouldn't care to tudge." The especially amusing "My New Bird Book" contains footnotes with references to nonexistent pages. Nonetheless, many of the entries here seem more pensive and reflective than those in Sweet Corn. In the "Picnic Table," for example, devoid of "the paper plates, the ketchup/ The napkins.... The table waits/ For next time." Another poem looks under the hull of a beached ship, quietly noting that "Where dolphins rolled,/ A golden dog lies sleeping/ In the shade." These unrhymed, free verses seem like yellowed snapshots, loving pictures of the ordinary world carefully preserved by a close observer but lacking substance. More successful poems present a fuller thoughthow the poet notices that a spring crocus "no bigger than a baby's thumb/ Just arrived from the center of the earth, bearing a message:/ Soon," or how the husked corn's "threads of yellow silk" in "zig-zags, scribbles, loops, and swirls" spell out "What a party!" Ages 8-up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Sheree Van Vreede
Popcorn is an appropriate title for this collection of poems, which consists of a wide assortment of thought-provoking "kernels." From a picnic table to the hull of the Dorothy B., to baseball fields and the ghosts in the All-Star Restaurant, these short lyrics are meant to make us "grin, think, feel, giggle, enjoy." Stevenson grasps the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. For example, his description of backyards from a train window, "Heaped with Don't-Need-It, /Where-Else-Should-We-Put-It, ... Front yards are boring. / Backyards tell stories," gives us a unique perspective. The illustrations help bring the colorful descriptions to life, making them as much a part of the poems as the words themselves.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-6Stevenson's brief, descriptive poems, each of which is accompanied by a pen-and-ink and/or watercolor drawing, are about life near the seashore. Driftwood, fog, crab shells, and morning mist are among the subjects. While a few of the selections are slight in style and interest, many are exquisite in use of language and point of view. Some of the illustrations are full page, others are small decorations; all reflect the mood of the poem to a tee. The typeface itself changes from page to page in shape, style, and color depending on the topic under discussion. One piece twists upon the page, while another needs to be held upside down to be read fully. Stevenson's briefest poems are his best. "Under the Hull" has a Haiku-like quality while "Crocus" is inspired in its beautiful turns of phrase. Others are touching, funny, or just plain fun to read. A fine addition to poetry collections.Elisabeth H. Hall, Arden Elementary School, Columbia, SC
Kirkus Reviews
"The dredge dredges sludge:/Sludge like fudge,/sludge that won't budge,/Sludge you wouldn't care to tudge." With the same colorfully varied layout and attention to language that made Sweet Corn (1995) memorable, Stevenson harvests a new crop of poems. In easy language and imagery, he celebrates the sight of a crocus pushing through winter leaves, catches conversations between geese, ghosts, and rusty old tools, and remembers his dog with a poignant elegy: "Chelsea is gone./Her water bowl is dry./Her green collar lies in her empty dish." The typeface is used in a different way on nearly every page, always in service to the poem; with an agile pen and brush, Stevenson captures people, animals, clutter ("Front yards are boring./Backyards tell stories"), and more with familiar and elegant candor. (Poetry. 8-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688152611
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
8 Years

Meet the Author

James Stevenson is an op-ed contributor to the New York Times. His popular column, "Lost and Found New York," has appeared regularly in the newspaper since 2003. He was on the staff of The New Yorker for more than three decades; his work includes 2,000 cartoons and 80 covers, as well as reporting and fiction. He is also the author and illustrator of over 100 children's books. He lives in Connecticut.

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