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Ordinary Things: Poems from a Walk in Early Spring

by Ralph Fletcher
Illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop

Published by Atheneum, 1997
48 pages
ISBN: 0-689-81209-4

Ages 11 and older

I walk the way I write / starting out all creaky, / sort of stumbling along, / looking for a rhythm. / Each footstep is like a word / as it meets the blank page..." A writer takes a break from working to venture outdoors and into spring, going on a walk that is marked by keen-eyed discoveries of the ordinary and the extraordinary found in the season's awakening. Ralph Fletcher's poems are exact and surprising, and graced with a sense of quiet contemplation. This soothing, satisfying collection is given narrative structure by the opening and closing poems, both titled "Walking" (one of which is excerpted above) and two additional poems, "Into the Woods" and "Looping Back," all of which chronicle the writer's physical progress and emotional transformation. Readers, too, will be transformed--by thoughts of the natural world and language and the wonder that each can hold as revealed within the lines of these poems. Black-and-white pencil drawings illustrating some of the poems complement the books's quiet mood and give readers another point of connection by depicting the "character" of the writer as a young person. CCBC categories: Poetry; Seasons and Celebrations.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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