cover image Who Shrank My Grandmother's House?: Poems of Discovery

Who Shrank My Grandmother's House?: Poems of Discovery

Barbara Juster Esbensen. HarperCollins Publishers, $15 (47pp) ISBN 978-0-06-021827-0

Esbensen ( Words With Wrinkled Knees ) intends her ``Poems of Discovery'' to help children understand that ``the most ordinary things can suddenly seem new and unexpected.'' Topics include the rainbows to be found in prisms, the ``long story living / in the shortest pencil,'' and the ``doves'' to be found in sand dollars. Unlike Beddows's artwork in Joyful Noise , his illustrations for these plain-spoken poems are in full color--and are a perfect match for Esbensen's imagery. When the poet envisions night as ``that dark magician'' who races children home, a wizard swirls the running youngsters in his blue cape. In another poem, Beddows pictures a girl scrunched in her grandmother's room, like Alice in the White Rabbit's house, while grownups whisper, ``How you have grown!'' Structured without punctuation--making use of capitals and line breaks to signal what in prose would be the end of sentences--these sophisticated verses glisten with wonder at uncovering the world's mysteries. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)