cover image Earth Verses and Water Rhymes

Earth Verses and Water Rhymes

J. Patrick Lewis, Andrew Lewis. Atheneum Books, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31693-7

In this assortment of 17 verses, Lewis's crisply visual language is enticingly original, peppered with vivid metaphors. The red fox in the moonlight is ``dipping / her paintbrush paws / into the drifts she loves.'' Summer ``is a long yellow gown / Fitted to the fields and farms.'' Unlike the author's A Hippopotamusn't , which highlights his whimsy and humor, the poems here are clever and thoughtful. Although some of the rhymes are technically complicated, they are perfectly suited for children with a proclivity for wordplay and fun. The spring rain, having awakened worms and spanked frogs, shakes the petal hands of tulips and says ``How do you dew?'' Sabuda's ( Walden ; I Hear America Singing ) striking linoleum prints are more successful when not depicting people, but his panoramas of nature--moonlight on the ocean, an owl in the fog--convey the ``honeycomb'' days of July and the ``dark December'' of winter that Lewis so aptly describes. Ages 7-10. (Sept.)