cover image Steady Hands: Poems About Work

Steady Hands: Poems About Work

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, ., illus. by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy . Clarion, $16 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-618-90351-1

Inventive, complicated collages and well-crafted poems focus on the activities of working people in this eye-catching book. With an observant eye, Zimmer (Sketches from a Spy Tree ) captures different individuals performing work with “steady hands.” She details the “flap/ roll/ flap” of the baker kneading dough or the way a clerk performs “a ballet/ of hands” as she sorts, scans and bags groceries. Sometimes she gives the worker a backstory or views him after hours—a former lawyer prefers “the predictable company of dogs” and becomes a dog walker, while the exterminator doesn’t mind the guys at the bowling alley “calling him Roach.” Halsey and Addy’s (Amelia to Zora ) hip collages combine individual cut-outs of people along with drawings, photos, textured backgrounds and designs. The aspiring filmmaker pops out of a box of movie popcorn while the tow-truck driver “fishes in the city,” literally reeling in cars. The sophisticated look should generate plenty of interest from the target audience. Ages 9–12. (Feb.)