Gr 1-4This upbeat collection features 22 poems that capture children's exuberant interactions with the world around them. Rather than being passive observers, the youngsters in these selections hear the roar of mountains crumbling in the ocean, stain their teeth "berry-blue" picking blueberries, hike home with pumpkins taken from the vine, and smell both the reek of dead fish and the clean sea wind. They also go biking, wading, and tumbling in the autumn leaves. Equally active watercolor illustrations snake across the middle of double-page spreads and curve around to frame the poems with glowing natural colors. The poet's use of a variety of rhyme schemes and sound qualities are particularly appealing. Like the poems in Aileen Fisher's Always Wondering (HarperCollins, 1991; o.p.), these selections express a childlike view of nature.Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Twenty-two poems (about half previously published) mostly describing activities and observations of children out-of-doors, from playing baseball in a city street to wondering at fragile butterflies fluttering above crashing ocean waves. The order is roughly seasonal, going from summer to fall and back to summer again, and the verse is pleasant, but too frequently rhyme takes precedence over sense. In her warmly colored watercolors, Dugan cleverly fleshes out the images in the poetry; the only misstep is an anachronistic conceit in which winged maple seeds are shown spinning through the air along with orange autumn leaves.