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Friday, July 24, 2009

A Whiff of Pine, A Hint of Skunk (Poetry)

Released March 2009

Reviewed by Bob Walch

With over 20 witty, woodsy poems in this collection, there's bound to be something here for everyone. The short, lighthearted
verses celebrate in humorous fashion the denizens of the woods as well as the four seasons.

Children ages 4 to 8 will meet an overachieving beaver, applaud the race-winning snail and chuckle at one critter's proposal for a squirrel spa. Welcome spring with a "zillion brand-new leaves" and lots of wrens, orioles and chickadees. Salamanders, opossums. badgers, and chipmunks are all celebrated in poems, as are tree frogs, toads and beetles.

In "Turtle Beach" the title character begins, "I'm just a simple turtle, / and this is all I ask: / a shallow stream for swimming, / a quiet place to bask…" But, three stanzas later, the turtle requests have expanded. "Oh, sure…I'd love a towel / or a sip of lemonade. But I'm a simple turtle. / That's not the way I'm made."

Joan Rankin's illustrations accompany these amusing poems that will not only introduce preschoolers to simple poetry but also bring a smile to their faces. Actually, mom and dad may chuckle a few times, as well, as they read these poems aloud.

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