cover image Sky Words

Sky Words

Marilyn Singer. MacMillan Publishing Company, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-02-782882-5

Although many of her poems about the sky are fairly predictable, Singer ( Turtle in July ) redeems herself with flashes of memorable wit and occasionally vivid language. Twilight, for example, is the ``hour of the bat / when the sky turns the color / of an old man's hair / . . . / when the world fades like a photo / left lying in a drawer.'' In fog, ``The sky is a liar / The ground is a sneak / All footsteps belong to strangers / even your own.'' Ray's ( Maggie's Whopper ) varied illustrations occupy about three-quarters of each spread, spilling across the gutter; the remaining quarter is reserved for the text, which is set against a delicately colored background, and, like the art, framed with white borders. Whether she is depicting the gray grass of twilight, a ``mustard sky'' in July, or crowds of people ``in the city'' where ``the sky / is served up in wedges / like pie,'' Ray's mixed-media paintings add mood and texture. The abstract bright lights at the fair seem to have motion, contrasting, for example, with the bluish white of the hushed fog. The summer and winter skies on the book jacket do not do justice to the treasures to be found inside. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)