Monday, August 29, 2005
Home for the Homeless
Looks like a perfect fit for a teacher like Ms. Adorno: "Kindergarten-Grade 4-- In both a literary and artistic sense, this collection is stronger than many books created to benefit a cause. The theme is broadly interpreted. Franz Brandenberg writes of a young child playing in bed--``I am the king in my castle./I am a mole in a hole.''--while Arthur Yorinks gives a jazzy, prose poem about the refrigerator: ``What a place to live the refrigerator is, that is, if you're a cucumber.'' From Lucille Clifton there is a simple, yet poignant piece about being at home in an elevator stuck between floors: `` . . . home/ is a corner/ where i crouch/ safe/ reading/ waiting . . . .'' Generally the work of authors and illustrators is complementary, making the variety of visual styles and typefaces interesting rather than jarring. Some selections are somewhat above the intended age range for this brief, lavishly illustrated format: Lawrence Yep and Cynthia Rylant's vignettes about their grandparents, although simply and vividly told, are more adult reminiscences, better suited to older readers; Jamake Highwater's poem is quite sophisticated. The subject is of interest to all ages, and while children will not clamor for this book, adults will be able to use it effectively with them."