cover image Button Up!: Wrinkled Rhymes

Button Up!: Wrinkled Rhymes

Alice Schertle, , illus. by Petra Mathers. . Harcourt, $16 (33pp) ISBN 978-0-15-205050-4

Despite its eye-catching cover and offbeat viewpoint, the “Wrinkled Rhymes” in this collection of poems about clothing have a few too many wrinkles. Each verse is written from the perspective of an article of clothing talking about its relationship to its owner, but too often the rhythms miss beats and the narratives are forced: “I am Violet's hiking hat./ I live on Violet's head./ 'I never take off my hiking hat,'/ Violet said.” Still, Schertle does provide clever turns of phrase and perspectives (Tanya's old T-shirt complains, “Now she's big as a sofa!/ She's tall as a tree!/ She's out of control, and they're dusting with me !”), but a lack of strong imagery and the haphazard meter are distracting. Mathers's watercolors—alternating spot art with full-spread paintings—depict a plethora of animal characters that are not lively enough to consistently provide the needed energy. But toddlers will enjoy picking out animals from previous poems, swimming as Wanda and her swimsuit do a cannonball or dressing up as ghosts for Halloween. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)