cover image Coconut Kind of Day: Island Poems

Coconut Kind of Day: Island Poems

Lynn Joseph. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $13.95 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09119-4

These 13 verses, nostalgic and sweet, portray a child's life in Trinidad, where the ``pom da de de de dom pom'' of the steel drums and the sight of ``Mama gone to market . . . balancing her wicker basket / like the Star of Bethlehem'' are everyday occurrences. The child-narrator of the poems tells of buying treats from the coconut man, of helping the fishermen ``pullin' seine,'' of seeing the ``rows of scarlet ibis / race across the sky / chasing the red ball sun / into the sea.'' The authentic portrayal of island routine offers young readers an intriguing look at another culture, made accessible by reference to topics of interest to children. Looking burnished, as if by the sun, Speidel's lush paintings capture the vibrancy of this exotic locale, and Joseph's rhythmic poems evoke vivid sights and sounds. Ages 6-9. (Aug.)