What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About? Poems for When a Person Needs a Poem

Judith Viorst, illus. by Lee White. S&S/Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99 (112p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2355-7
In poems grouped into categories including school, family, and friends, Viorst thoughtfully explores the ups and downs of children’s lives, without glossing over tough moments—or humans’ sometimes less-than-admirable instincts. In one poem, the narrator contemplates her somewhat distant father’s happiness (“He’s always watching over us./ Here’s what I want to know:/ Is anyone watching over him?”), while a retaliatory entry later on addresses “What to Do with a Bully” (“You could give him a fat lip,/ Stick your foot out—make him trip”). In loose cartoons accented with a drab pale blue, White (The Maine Coon’s Haiku) amplifies the strong emotions at play, from delight in a grandfather’s grilled-cheese-making prowess to sadness over losing a best friend (White shows a girl staring sadly out the window, a severed tin-can “phone” in her hand). Whatever readers’ mood may be, they will probably find a poem that suits it. Ages 6–9. Author’s agent: Mickey Choate, Choate Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015
Release date: 02/09/2016
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 112 pages - 978-1-4814-2356-4
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