cover image Outside the Box

Outside the Box

Karma Wilson, illus. by Diane Goode. S&S/McElderry, $17.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8005-6

Blending typographical and illustrated whimsy with lighthearted reflections on life’s quandaries, funny moments, and small disappointments, Wilson and Goode offer a well-rounded collection of more than 100 poems that touch on everything from creativity and luck to animals, siblings, and holidays. The narrator of “My Pet Robot” stares glumly at her creation (a hybrid vacuum cleaner/TV set, by the looks of it): “I realize now/ that Robot’s done..../ Building him/ was all the fun.” Elsewhere, a boy reflects on the duality of oatmeal (“As mooshy, gooshy, squishy goo?/ It’s awful stuff to eat./ As crunchy, munchy cookie bliss?/ Oatmeal’s a wonderful treat”) and a girl shouts her head off as she’s about to be devoured by a monster (“Don’t scream so loud you’ll wake the dead,/ we’d rather that they stay in bed”). Goode’s b&w artwork (not all seen by PW) features her instantly recognizable swoopy ink lines, amplifying the comedy and playfulness that characterize many of Wilson’s poems. Ages 7–10. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)