Monday, March 22, 2010
Keepers, written by John Frank and illustrated by Ken Robbins. Roaring Brook Press, Ftizhenry & Whiteside. 2008. $19.95 ages 10 and up
I found a dime
a century old
while digging deep below.
it might have bought
a hundred years ago."
I wonder how this book came to being? Was it the photos that inspired the poet to write his contemplative poems about treasures found at the beach, in the attic, in the mountains and desert, at the flea market and beneath the ground? Or were the treasures imagined and described before finding the photos that so perfectly match them? I wonder.
As you know, I love poetry and I am always on the lookout for books that will inspire young poets to think about everyday things and then try writing about them. In this collection, John Frank suggests that the search for treasure is the thrill: 'Finding a scarce penny while sorting through a jar of change, happening upon an exquisite seashell while combing the shore, stumbling across a famous artist's painting while poking through the clutter in a junk shop - these are the moments that make our heart race and take our breath away.'
Middle years and high school students would have some experiences that they might mine for words and impressions to include in a poem about treasures. What is that quote? "One man's trash is another man's treasure" It is always a revelation to learn what other people value, and it would be interesting to have your students make such a discovery about their classmates. This book might just push them to try their hand at treasure poems. Try it yourself!