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The Sky Is Always in the Sky

by Karla Kuskin
Illustrated by Isabelle Dervaux

Published by HarperCollins, 1998
48 pages
ISBN: 0-06-027083-7

Ages 5 - 10

A small, vibrant treasury of poems by Karla Kuskin offers 35 delightful poems from eight of the author's earlier collections. One new poem rounds out this lively gathering that is playful, quirky, and thoughtful all at once. Kuskin combines a keen understanding of humor that will appeal to children and a masterful skill with words to create poems that are both funny and richly satisfying, full of inventive ideas and language ("If I were a fish, / I would swim like a fish / silently finning / with nary a swish, ...) and distinctive, changing rhythms. Her poems exemplify how carefully chosen words create their own energy and set their own pace. Start reading a poem by Karla Kuskin and the beat becomes intuitive. But be careful! A Kuskin poem is as likely to change its pulse as it is to continue its steady heartbeat, and the rhyme schemes can be just as unpredictable. It is these surprises, along with fresh ideas and images and humor that affirms children as insiders to the joke, that distinguishes these poems. This collection, in which each poem is set against a brightly colored page featuring clean-lined, whimsical illustrations by Isabelle Dervaux and engaging typeface design, provides children new to Kuskin's poetry with an engaging introduction to her work. For Kuskin fans, it is an appealing invitation to revisit favorites. CCBC categories: Poetry (MS; Sept 21)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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