George, Kristine O'Connell. The Great Frog Race and Other Poems. Illus. Kate Kiesler. New York: Clarion, 1997.
In this collection of poetry, George captures the wonder and simplicity of childhood. Things a child would see and do become the subjects of poems. From frog racing to monkey wrenches, George describes them with a freshness and voice that is unique.
What I thought: What a great collection! As it won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, I know I'm not the only person who thinks so. Some of my favorite poems in the collection offer the reader a new perspective on an object. "Evening Rain" uses sewing imagery. Raindrops as stitches is so plausible I found myself wondering why I hadn't considered it before. Describing a common insect's wings as window panes and cellophane in "Dragonfly" is genius. That's exactly what their wings look like. As I read the poems, I found myself remembering my own childhood. If I were to write poems about my childhood, I can only hope that they would have the same magic as George's. I freely admit my subject matter would be different. Think mud pies, rain dancing, and puddle jumping.