A Little Bitty Man and Other Poems for the Very Young

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
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.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
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