Friday, March 24, 2006

Review: Dirty Laundry Pile

Dirty Laundry Pile edited by Paul B. Janeczko. Illustrated by
Melissa Sweet. HarperCollins, 2001 (0-688-16251-7) $15.99

A snowflake prays for a quick death on the "hot tongue of some shivering child," a scarecrow dreams of ending bloodshed and creating a Peaceable kingdom though establishing diplomatic resolution with the crows, a waddling hippopotamus embraces the lithe and graceful secrets of poetry. Giving voice to the possible thoughts of animals, objects, and weather, the surprising and exciting images in this collection of poems are a wonderful enticement to practice seeing another's point of view. Though some of the poems are funny, the tone of the collection as a whole is rather sober and might be better matched with something richer than Sweet's lighthearted, whimsical watercolors. Nonetheless, teachers, librarians and poetry readers will embrace this pile. (4 & up)