cover image Yummy!: Eating Through a Day

Yummy!: Eating Through a Day

Lee Bennett Hopkins. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-81755-7

Like School Supplies, also by Hopkins and Flowers, this collection of poems centers on a single topic: food. This time, however, the match between art and text seems more frenetic than fitting. Served up under the headings of Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert (plus one Snack), this playful assortment from both well-known and new poets focuses on the sensation and delight of eating common foods. Tom Robert Shields, for example, celebrates an orange in a poem that begins, ""Perfect morning roundness/ Color from the sun."" In a lighter key, David McCord writes, ""Eggplant has a lovely color./ As food, though, how could anything be duller?"" But the forced hilarity of the loudly colored, geometric illustrations competes for attention with the more gently amusing or contemplative poems. For younger children especially, Flower's blaring, outsize fruit and veggies may simply be confusing. Mangoes as big as watermelons, spaghetti the size of garden hoses and cutlery like gladiator weapons are all tumbled together, most with grinning faces (even the potato chips and Jell-O cubes smile like Miss America contestants). Considering the pleasure the poets take in describing food, it's odd that the visual images are so stylized and cerebral; there's nothing in the art to make the mouth water. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)