Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems

Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems

by Kristine O'Connell George, Kate Kiesler
     
 

Everything that happens when you go camping can be an adventure, from getting dressed inside your sleeping bag on a chilly morning to meeting a moose to sharing secrets in a tent at night. Kristine O’Connell George turns the memorable moments of a family outing into spirited, evocative verse, and Kate Kiesler’s vivid paintings provide a cast of

Overview

Everything that happens when you go camping can be an adventure, from getting dressed inside your sleeping bag on a chilly morning to meeting a moose to sharing secrets in a tent at night. Kristine O’Connell George turns the memorable moments of a family outing into spirited, evocative verse, and Kate Kiesler’s vivid paintings provide a cast of characters and the perfect setting. The captivating poems and pictures in Toasting Marshmallows will leave readers with wonderful memories of a camping trip—even if they’ve never been on one!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
George deftly describes the satisfying sequence of familiar events in a summer camping experience in this collection of 30 related poems perfectly paired once again with Kiesler's inviting oil paintings (The Great Frog Race and Other Poems, 1998 etc.) The daily rhythms of a camping trip are presented from the "Tent" to exploring an "Abandoned Cabin" to observing "A Doe." Shared common experiences include "Sleeping Bag': "It's so cold outside. I'm getting dressed inside/my sleeping bag. I wriggle, scootch, scrunch, and jiggle. Flop/Front flips, back flips—I'm a caterpillar/in a cozy cloth cocoon/that zips." Short pieces like "Mosquito Song" demonstrate pointed wordplay with a witty use of alliteration and onomatopeia. "It's Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!/Mosqueeeeeeeeeto!/Is that you, Dinner?/Greeeeeeeeetings." Kiesler expresses the changing vistas of the countryside from the uneasy, dark palette of the double-page spread for "Storm" to the bright, sunshiny view of a field for "Wild Mustard." The changing layout of each page gives a sense of surprise to the most ordinary of events, the words of the concrete poem, "Eavesdropping," "Tipping/a slender/silver ear" placed in the shape of a cresent moon, the stanzas of "Flashlight" positioned in the beams of light to name just a few. Altogether an engaging trip.
Kirkus Reviews

Like their previous collaboration, The Great Frog Race and Old Elm Speaks, this volume by George and Kiesler is as delicious as a toasted marshmallow treat. George's poems are well crafted, varied and easily accessible. The topics range from a tent-shaped poem about the careful raising of the family's canvas lodging to post-trip unpacking, in which a child tucks away a flannel shirt perfumed in scents of pine, wood fire and forest moss in her "bottom drawer—/where no one will find it/and wash away [her] memories." Though Kielser's human figures are sometimes wooden, she suffuses her acrylic landscapes with light filtered through leaves. A few of the illustrations seem too idyllic and scrubbed (in "Abandoned Cabin," its "crumbling fireplace" looks newly constructed; in another, the brother's "grubby hands" seem freshly washed). Yet George's poems shine, the images clear and startling. A "panther cloud crosses the sky"; after a storm, a "confetti of birds... dance another rain shower." A concrete poem in the shape of a waning moon is exquisite: "Tipping/a slender/silver ear,/Moon tries/to pretend/she isn't/listening/to our/secrets." Readers will definetly want S-mores.
Publishers Weekly, Starred

"fine collection brings the outdoors up close...direct, satisfying poems that will engage kids at school, across the curriculum, or at home." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

The poems are varied and inventive, replete with marvelous images and universal truths. . . .A terrific idyll for summertime sharing, even for confirmed couch potatoes.
School Library Journal, Starred

The pleasure and surprise of going camping are conveyed in eighteen brief poems. . . .Richly colored paintings enhance the verses.
Horn Book Guide

Whether playful or profound, the exquisitely crafted poems reverberate with eloquent yet effortless language, while the radiant acrylic artwork hints at the awe-inspiring mysteries of nature.
SLJ Best Books of the Year

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like their previous collaborations, The Great Frog Race and Old Elm Speaks, this volume by George and Kiesler is as delicious as a toasted marshmallow treat. George's poems are well crafted, varied and easily accessible. The topics range from a tent-shaped poem about the careful raising of the family's canvas lodging to post-trip unpacking, in which a child tucks away a flannel shirt perfumed in scents of pine, wood fire and forest moss in her "bottom drawerD/ where no one will find it/ and wash away [her] memories." Though Kiesler's human figures are sometimes wooden, she suffuses her acrylic landscapes with light filtered through leaves. A few of the illustrations seem too idyllic and scrubbed (in the "Abandoned Cabin," its "crumbling fireplace" looks newly constructed; in another, the brother's "grubby hands" seem freshly washed). Yet George's poems shine, the images clear and startling. A "panther cloud crosses the sky"; after a storm, a "confetti of birds... dance another rain shower." A concrete poem in the shape of a waning moon is exquisite: "Tipping/ a slender/ silver ear,/ Moon tries/ to pretend/ she isn't/ listening/ to our/ secrets." Readers will definitely want S-mores. Ages 6-10. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Anyone who has ever gone on a family camping trip will delight in this simple yet affecting collection of poems. With a child's eye view, and with simple, well-chosen words, Ms. George captures the joys and trepidations of living outdoors. In "Campfire," she writes, "Warm front. Cold back. I turn around. Warm back. Cold front. I turn around. I lean against Mom, my head on her shoulder. Warm all over." Other titles include, "Abandoned Cabin," "Sleeping Bag," "Storm," "Mosquito Song," "Forest Walk," and "Flashlight." Beautiful, ethereal watercolor illustrations accompany the verses. One can almost see the starlit night, taste the marshmallows, and hear the buzzing insects as words and illustrations combine in this unique collaboration. 2001, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin, $15.00. Ages 5 to 9. Reviewer: Christopher Moning
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-George has penned 30 sublimely simple poems that capture the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of a family's camping trip, from pitching the tent to pulling up stakes and returning home. All of the selections convey a child-focused sense of wonder as the campers explore the lakefront and surrounding terrain, enjoy the marvels of the natural world, relish meals round the campfire, and toast marshmallows ("This is art-/a time of serious reflection/as my pillowed confection/slowly reaches golden perfection"). The poems are varied and inventive, replete with marvelous images and universal truths. There's even a selection devoted to the "Mosquito Song." Each one is accompanied by a well-executed and evocative acrylic painting. Some of Kiesler's artwork sweeps across double pages to provide a dramatic vista-a meandering hiking trail, a field of wild mustard, a star-studded night sky-while other pictures reveal small, but equally telling details. In "Flannel," the child is shown holding her pine-, smoke-, and moss-scented camping shirt to her face, paired with the words, "I keep it hidden/in my bottom drawer-/where no one will find it/and wash away/my memories." A terrific idyll for summertime sharing, even for confirmed couch potatoes.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
George deftly describes the satisfying sequence of familiar events in a summer camping experience in this collection of 30 related poems perfectly paired once again with Kiesler's inviting oil paintings (The Great Frog Race and Other Poems, 1998, etc.). The daily rhythms of a camping trip are presented from the "Tent" to exploring an "Abandoned Cabin" to observing "A Doe." Shared common experiences include "Sleeping Bag": "It's so cold outside, I'm getting dressed inside / my sleeping bag. I wriggle, scoootch, scrunch, and jiggle. Flop. / Front flips, back flips-I'm a caterpillar / in a cozy cloth cocoon / that zips." Short pieces like "Mosquito Song" demonstrate pointed wordplay with a witty use of alliteration and onomatopoeia: "Its Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! / Mosqueeeeeeeeeeeeeeto! / Is that you, Dinner? / Greeeeeeeeeetings." Kiesler expresses the changing vistas of the countryside from the uneasy, dark palette of the double-page spread for "Storm" to the bright, sunshiny view of a field for "Wild Mustard." The changing layout of each page gives a sense of surprise to the most ordinary of events, the words of the concrete poem, "Eavesdropping," "Tipping / a slender / silver ear" placed in the shape of crescent moon, the stanzas of "Flashlight" positioned in the beams of light, to name just a few. Altogether, an engaging trip. (Poetry. 7-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618045976
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
02/28/2001
Edition description:
None
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
194,654
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
George deftly describes the satisfying sequence of familiar events in a summer camping experience in this collection of 30 related poems perfectly paired once again with Kiesler's inviting oil paintings (The Great Frog Race and Other Poems, 1998 etc.) The daily rhythms of a camping trip are presented from the "Tent" to exploring an "Abandoned Cabin" to observing "A Doe." Shared common experiences include "Sleeping Bag': "It's so cold outside. I'm getting dressed inside/my sleeping bag. I wriggle, scootch, scrunch, and jiggle. Flop/Front flips, back flips—I'm a caterpillar/in a cozy cloth cocoon/that zips." Short pieces like "Mosquito Song" demonstrate pointed wordplay with a witty use of alliteration and onomatopeia. "It's Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!/Mosqueeeeeeeeeto!/Is that you, Dinner?/Greeeeeeeeetings." Kiesler expresses the changing vistas of the countryside from the uneasy, dark palette of the double-page spread for "Storm" to the bright, sunshiny view of a field for "Wild Mustard." The changing layout of each page gives a sense of surprise to the most ordinary of events, the words of the concrete poem, "Eavesdropping," "Tipping/a slender/silver ear" placed in the shape of a cresent moon, the stanzas of "Flashlight" positioned in the beams of light to name just a few. Altogether an engaging trip.
Kirkus Reviews

Like their previous collaboration, The Great Frog Race and Old Elm Speaks, this volume by George and Kiesler is as delicious as a toasted marshmallow treat. George's poems are well crafted, varied and easily accessible. The topics range from a tent-shaped poem about the careful raising of the family's canvas lodging to post-trip unpacking, in which a child tucks away a flannel shirt perfumed in scents of pine, wood fire and forest moss in her "bottom drawer—/where no one will find it/and wash away [her] memories." Though Kielser's human figures are sometimes wooden, she suffuses her acrylic landscapes with light filtered through leaves. A few of the illustrations seem too idyllic and scrubbed (in "Abandoned Cabin," its "crumbling fireplace" looks newly constructed; in another, the brother's "grubby hands" seem freshly washed). Yet George's poems shine, the images clear and startling. A "panther cloud crosses the sky"; after a storm, a "confetti of birds... dance another rain shower." A concrete poem in the shape of a waning moon is exquisite: "Tipping/a slender/silver ear,/Moon tries/to pretend/she isn't/listening/to our/secrets." Readers will definetly want S-mores.
Publishers Weekly, Starred

"fine collection brings the outdoors up close...direct, satisfying poems that will engage kids at school, across the curriculum, or at home." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

The poems are varied and inventive, replete with marvelous images and universal truths. . . .A terrific idyll for summertime sharing, even for confirmed couch potatoes.
School Library Journal, Starred

The pleasure and surprise of going camping are conveyed in eighteen brief poems. . . .Richly colored paintings enhance the verses.
Horn Book Guide

Whether playful or profound, the exquisitely crafted poems reverberate with eloquent yet effortless language, while the radiant acrylic artwork hints at the awe-inspiring mysteries of nature.
SLJ Best Books of the Year

Meet the Author

Kristine O’Connell George, one of the principal voices in contemporary children’s poetry, has received the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and the Promising Poet Award. She lives with her family in Agoura, California.

Born in New Hampshire and raised in Vermont, Kate Kiesler began painting at an early age. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and now paints and illustrates full-time. Kate paints with oils, and her rich style has been highly praised. Kate Kiesler has illustrated numerous picture books, including THE GREAT FROG RACE AND OTHER POEMS. She lives in Frisco, Colorado.

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