cover image Doodle Dandies: Poems That Take Shape

Doodle Dandies: Poems That Take Shape

J. Patrick Lewis. Atheneum Books, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-81075-6

From endpaper to doodled endpaper, this mix of clever language and visual delights makes a dandy treat for all ages. Desimini's (Love Letters) mixed-media illustrations and Lewis's (A Hippopotamusn't) inventive poems converge in a single work stronger than either would be independent of the other. The interplay between words and pictures effectively conjures images from seasons to sports to the jungle. In ""Lashondra Scores!"" each line of the poem includes a word with the letter ""O,"" which Desimini transforms into a basketball, creating an arc of text that follows the ball from Lashondra's hand to its eventual swish through the hoop. In another, the trunk of a weeping willow tree tells of a widow weeping, while its branches trail gracefully down, each containing the refrain, ""Her wind-woven hair softly sweeping."" The shape of a yellow-brown giraffe takes form against a background of forest green leaves in a concrete poem, ""Giraffe"": the words tail and stilts literally form the animal's corresponding anatomy as he ""turns tail and hobbles away on wooden stilts."" This lively and outstanding collection, reflecting a wide emotional range, will intrigue young artists and wordsmiths with its surprising use of color and unexpected wordplay. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)