A Little Bitty Man and Other Poems for the Very Young

Halfdan Wedel Rasmussen, Author, Kevin Hawkes, Illustrator, Marilyn Nelson, Translator, Pamela Espeland, Translator
Halfdan Rasmussen, trans. from the Danish by Marilyn Nelson and Pamela Espeland, illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-2379-1
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Delivered with a nursery rhyme lilt, this collection of poems from the late Rasmussen is characterized by a whimsical and gently irreverent perspective. "You can pat my goldfish's hair/ for an apple/ that's polished just right," offers the owner of a lion sleeping with one eye open. "But if you want/ to pat my lion,/ just promise/ you'll pat it real light!" When a sheepish little cloud goes for a walk and can't hold it anymore, it "Let it drip down on the road,/ knew that it was naughty," as two children in rubber boots observe from the ground below. Hawkes's acrylic and charcoal illustrations—from the diminutive couple who live in "Littlebittyland" to a "strange old owl" perched at his writing desk—echo Rasmussen's joyful, quirky spirit. Ages 2–6. (Aug.)
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