What's the Weather Inside?

Karma Wilson, Author, Barry Blitt, Illustrator , illus. by Barry Blitt. S&S/McElderry $17.99 (170p) ISBN 978-1-4169-0092-4

Though both their titles invoke the weather, these poetry collections have atmospheres all their own.

What's the Weather Inside? Karma Wilson , illus. by Barry Blitt. S&S/McElderry , $17.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-4169-0092-4

“If you think poems are stupid/ and poetry's a bore,/ ... / and if you're sure this book's the same/ as all you've read before.../ I dare ya, yes, I dare ya: Turn the page.” Early on, Wilson (Bear Snores On ) throws down the gauntlet in her wide-ranging book of humorous, often edgy poetry, Silversteinian in its format and sensibility. Coupled with ink-drawn caricatures by Blitt (The 39 Apartments of Ludwig Van Beethoven ), the poems range from modern parables (“I'm telling you now that I'd rather eat cow/ than that goo that my aunt calls tofu./ Ew”) to more experimental verse. On one spread, a list of “lovely” words (“moonlight,/ butterfly,/ chamomile”) faces another with “ugly” words (“traitor,/ homicide,/ moron”). Blitt's artwork adeptly magnifies the tones that the poems strike: in “Golden Eggs,” a goose wearing a crown and “Bling” pendant stares at an empty cradle. “[She'd] rather have/ one fluffy chick/ than a million golden eggs.” The darker poems will not appeal to all, but from the silly to the unsavory, there's plenty to provoke and entertain. Ages 6–10. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/09/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
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