Friday, September 08, 2006

poetry friday: Beware, Take Care by Lilian Moore

Beware, Take Care by Lilian Moore. Illustrated by Howard Fine.
Henry Holt, 2006 (9-8050-6917-8) $16.95

A city is the background for the poems in this collection, but not just any city: this one has ghosts, monsters and dragons along with its parks, supermarkets and apartment buildings. Most are more annoying than scary, some even friendly... but then there are those that are just... there:

Something is there
There on the stair,
Coming down
Coming down
Stepping with care.
Coming down
Coming down

Something is coming and wants to get by.

The illustrations--pastels with a dark, slightly out-of-focus look--make the most of the urban setting, placing a monster casually draping his hand over a penthouse terrace, a dragon popping popcorn for little leaguers to catch in their mitts, and another monster taking his unknown, unseen pet for a walk, responsibly carrying a pooper-scooper. The fully depicted monsters are a bit of a let-down, just big and hairy and occasionally oddly dressed; the more mysterious poems offer the best combinations of text and picture, with glimpses of enormous eyes or feet to complement the shivers raised by the words. (4-8)