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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What's Looking at You, Kid? Written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Renee Graef. Sleeping Bear Press, 2012. $16.50 ages 3 and up

"Was she painted with
a crayon?

Or is that a rainbow

Look at how
her colors stay on."

J. Patrick Lewis proves, once again, that he is a deserving Poet Laureate for children with this fine riddle book for our youngest readers. While the answers to the questions he asks are not hidden on the following page, he uses language that sings for those who share this book. He helps young writers see the power of the well-chosen word when describing the world around them.

Each description is a double page spread and is embellished with beautifully designed artwork by Renee Graef. The settings are familiar to most children...the seashore and the backyard. Each verse accurately describes familiar scenes and introduces well-known creatures.

A wee mouse gives aid in turning the first page and serves up an invitation to enjoy the riches of the text. First a crab, then a firefly; turn the page to see a hummingbird sipping nectar from a tempting pink blossom:

"To sip a flower,
then dive
and dart,
Her wings
beat like her
little heart.
Look who likes to

It is an invitation for each one of us to take notice of the beauty that surrounds us.

Now, I will await the next book from this most prolific and poetic man. Thank you, J. Patrick Lewis for your work for children always!

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