Schaub, Michelle and Huntington, Amy (illustrations)
Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmer's Market
March 14th 2017 by Charlesbridge Publishing
Copy provided by publisher
Starting with a vibrant picture of a family on their farm, loading produce into a pick up truck, this book covers a day at a market from the perspective of a boy whose family is selling things and a girl who lives in the city and is visiting the market. There are poems representing various stall owners and how they set up their wares, and a wide variety of products are showcased. There is honey, baked goods, and a lot of delectable looking fresh produce. The poems also address other things going on at the market, such as knife sharpening, music and how to tell if fruit is ripe, but my favorite is probably the poem about DIRT!
I am always picky about verse, and these passed my test. They scan well, have inventive rhyme, and embrace a variety of forms. The illustrations incorporate the text into them nicely, especially in "Delightful Bites, which has the words wafting across the page as the aroma from baked goods.
The pictures are brightly colored and are done in a looser, energetic style that befits the activity of the market place. The people in the picture are from many walks of life, which makes sense given the urban setting of the market. I enjoyed watching the girl who was visiting the market show up in various panels with her dog, who is clearly too rambunctious for the market and gets in a variety of trouble. The boy whose family has brought produce to the market watches her, and eventually the two meet up and discuss tomatoes and kale.
The end of the book offers helpful information about making the most of a trip to the market, and why consuming local produce is a good thing. This would make a great read aloud before heading off to shop at a market, especially when paired with Karas' On the Farm, At the Market, Trent's Farmer's Market Day or Page's board book We're Going to a Farmer's Market.
Frost, Helen. When My Sister Started Kissing
March 14th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Claire and Abigail love coming to the lake. It is a large part of their family, especially since their mother died there in a lightning strike. This year, their father has remarried, and their stepmother Pam is pregnant. Claire is also distressed that her sister, who wants to go by Abi, is more interested in boys than in hanging out with her, and is alarmed that Abi is not following the rules, but sneaking out to meet the boys. Both girls struggle with their new circumstances, but find a way to finally move on after their mother's death.
Strengths: I love Frost's poetry, and the fact that she uses forms and describes them at the back of the book. The poems are all very beautiful, and the characters are well developed. Summer stories, as well as romances, are always a good bet.
Weaknesses: Considering the girls were very young when their mother died (Claire was an infant), it seemed a bit odd that they were still thinking about her so much. The story of two sisters growing apart would have been enough of a downer without this facet.
What I really think: Conflicted. I don't think The Braid has circulated even once. This one might, but I'm debating.