Relatively Speaking: Poems about Family

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Like the puzzle pieces on the book's cover, these poems come together to form a picture of one family. Narrated by the youngest member, each poem highlights a different person or event. Readers learn about his older brother's serious accident, his new sibling, and the family's annual reunion. There are poems about seldom-seen cousins, big brother's "beach muscles," and an uncle's funeral. The selections are striking in their simplicity, universal themes, and realistic voice. Pen-and-ink line drawings detail items ranging from a favorite quilt to a water bucket and sponge used to wash the car. Ultimately, these pieces connect throughout the book and show how individuals mesh to become a family.-Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Kirkus Reviews
In what amounts to a novel in poems, a narrator, 11, declares his satisfaction at "Being The Youngest," introduces his big brother ("God's Gift to Girls"), who later has a scary brush with death, watches his grandmother plant tulip bulbs "in that dirty confusion/of bulb and knuckle,/knuckle and bulb," observes several relatives at a huge family reunion, tracks his mother's pregnancy, and, after his sister is born, finds pleasure in "Being A Middle Child," too. In easygoing free verse that hides no meanings behind oblique imagery or language, Fletcher (Ordinary Things, 1997, etc.) creates a close-knit, recognizable cast; Krudop's small pen-and-ink still lifes of food and common household items evoke an air of intimate, everyday domesticity. Children will enjoy reading or listening to these linked episodes of high drama, low comedy, and comforting human contact. (Poetry. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531331415
  • Publisher: Orchard Books NY
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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