Some books of poetry are geared to the very young, as today’s selection is (aimed at Preschool), but they don’t need to “talk down” to their reader at all.
This wonderful collection by Lin Oliver and Tomie de Paola even calls itself jaunty (not a word most preschoolers would know).
And the book itself does some incredibly intelligent things I marveled at seeing in a book aimed at young readers. (Okay, I admit I might’ve squeed when I realized what had been done on the first page here.)
The book opens with a simple image.
It could’ve just ended there. BUT IT DOESN’T. You guys! It actually took me a beat to realize that the door actually opens up!!
What an incredibly fantastic way to start the book! It is SO powerful on SO many levels! It’s a door that invites you into the book to explore. It’s a door that opens the collection of poems with a sense of play. It’s a door for a child to step through so we the reader can experience the world through his eyes. WOW!!!!! That concept BLEW my mind (and I admit that I haven’t seen anything else like it yet in my study of poetry picture books).
What’s even better is how the book ends, to complete the intelligence of this artistic choice. BUT I won’t spoil that. You have to read the book yourself to find out. 😉