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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sky Magic, compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Mariusz Stawarski. Dutton, Penguin Group (Canada). 2009. $20.00 ages 8 and up


Like a fresh loaf
Sun rises,
Tempting dawn
To break
Her golden crust -

Taste morning!"
Sarah Hansen

Lee Bennett Hopkins is a master anthologist and I have many of his books in my poetry collection. He has chosen so many subjects to anthologize and always does a spot-on job of finding those poems that will have wide appeal for his target audience. Topics include the sea, school, food, pets, space, holidays and inventions. The list goes on.

In choosing the poems for his book about the sky and its many delights he uses the progression from morning to night to organize them. It is an intriguing mix and includes many poems that I had not yet read. There are some wonderful surprises!

Each one is magical and wondrous, and sets minds to thinking about what we take for granted each day...the rising of the sun, its passage across the sky and the appearance of the moon and stars as evening falls.

Mariusz Starwaski’s paintings are rendered in shades of blue, purple, gold, and orange and create the perfect tone for the poems that are placed so carefully within her illustrations. Her canvas is in keeping with the world as we see it, with the warm golden tones of the sun's day and the cooling hues of evening tide. It makes for a cohesive collection.

I will leave you, as Lee does, with a last song of the day.

"Last Song

To the Sun
Who has shone
All day,
To the Moon
Who has gone

To the milk-white
Lily-white Star
A fond goodnight
Wherever you are."
James Guthrie

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