Friday, December 29, 2006

poetry friday: something we've been having a lot of

Weather edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Illustrated by Melanie Hall. HarperCollins, 1994 (0-06-021463-5) $14.00; HarperTrophy, 1995 (0-06444191-1) $4.95 pb

Weather is one of the strongest emotional influences in a child's life and this anthology of poems (featuring children's favorites Langston Hughes, Ogden Nash, Charlotte Zolotow and many others) celebrates that connection with evocative reflections on the sights, sounds, tastes and feelings that come with sun, wind, rain and other types of weather. The poems are short and simple and the design of the book, like all "I Can Read" books, is carefully non-intimidating, but it's the rhythms, rhymes and stimulating uses of words that really make this collection perfect for beginning readers. The beautifully colored, vibrant, yet delicately drawn illustrations are also just right, in a low-key, old-fashioned style that complements but never overpowers the poems. * (4-8)