NH Poetry: Mites to Mastodons

Diane Mayr recommends Mites to Mastodons: A Book of Animal Poems by Maxine Kumin, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (Houghton Mifflin, 2006).
"Over the past decade, there has been a deluge of books for children written by writers for adults.  Unfortunately, a writer's proficiency in writing for an adult audience does not always transfer to writing an appealing book for children.  One exception is poet Maxine Kumin.  Her collection, Mites to Mastodons, is full of the types of animals that intrigue kids--from the very, very small to the gigantic, and a variety of others in between.  Kumin's mastery of wordplay is fully evident here:

from "The Octopus"
The octopus, an ocean creature,
   was oddly engineered by nature

   with a bulbous, floppy head, big eyes,
   and suction cups that line both sides

   of its eight arms, which means it can
   hold fast to lobster, crabs, and clams.

There's a delightful musicality to it, don't you think?  The poems in this collection are complemented by colorful mixed-media illustrations making it a book that should be on every public library's poetry shelves!" --Diane Mayr

Diane Mayr is a public librarian in Windham, NH who also writes for children and adults.  Her latest work is Kids of the Homefront Army: Poems of World War II America.  The poems are posted twice a week at http://www.homefrontarmy.com/ .  Her haiku and haiga can be found on http://www.randomnoodling.com/ .

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