cover image FOLD ME A POEM


Kristine O'Connell George, , illus. by Lauren Stringer. . Harcourt, $16 (56pp) ISBN 978-0-15-202501-4

This unusual poetry volume is a dazzling celebration of imagination. George's (Hummingbird Nest ) haiku-like poems and Stringer's (Mud ) colorful origami animals combine to tell the story of a child who needs only squares of paper to create a world of play. The unnamed child's contemplative face and short hair allows both boys and girls to identify with the main character, as he or she sprinkles snowflakes made from paper punch holes over origami penguins, creates a barrier between rabbits and foxes with wooden blocks, forms a shadow figure hippo with a flashlight and fashions a bookmark from a giraffe. Stringer's illustrations help connect the poems visually, and the pages burst with colors and patterns. On one spread, the poem "Peacocks" features a close-up of the child's hands folding the birds' tails while, across the gutter, the finished peacocks strut in a garden of origami tulips to illustrate a poem called "Spring." Each turn of the page brings a clever new perspective or insight—even humor. A "Disappointed Moth," pictured with brown polka-dotted wings, asks, "Why didn't you/ save any butterfly colors/ for me ?" The book includes a list of how-to origami books, but unfortunately lacks a set of instructions for making the animals. Nonetheless, this poetry collection creatively models low-cost child's play that requires only a little know-how and a bit of ingenuity. Ages 5-10. (Apr.)