Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at Play Among Figures of Speech by Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek illustrated by Richard Jones

Published by Candlewick

Summary:  This poetry collection kicks off with “A Disappointment” in which the speaker sees a tree clowning on one leg and spinning a pie until a friend informs them that it’s just an old squirrel’s nest.  From there, the 27 poems are divided into four sections: Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, and imagination is allowed to reign freely.  The poems are written in free verse, many just a single verse, and are illustrated with beautiful somewhat abstract paintings of nature.  Includes an afterword with messages from both poets inviting readers to let their imaginations run wild.  72 pages; grades 4-8.

Pros:  These poems written by former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and acclaimed poet Connie Wanek are simple but beautiful in their use of imagery and metaphors that kids will relate to.  They’re short enough for elementary kids to be able to read and analyze them, yet rich enough to be used in classrooms into high school.  This book has gotten six starred reviews and was included on Betsy Bird’s spring Newbery predictions list, so look for it to get some awards consideration.

Cons:  I wish there had been some information about how the two poets worked together.

May 22, 2022 at 07:12PM Janet Dawson