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Friday, February 21, 2020

Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections, written by Michelle Schaub and illustrated by Carmen Saldana. Charlesbridge, Penguin Random House. 2019. $

"Stashed in the attic,
a small shadow box
holds rows of keys
long lost from their locks.
Fashioned of iron
with patterns ornate.
What might they open?
Which cupboard? Which gate?"
The latch to a castle
or secret chateau?
A wardrobe that leads
to a land white with snow?"

There are 18 poems here - the result of a school assignment and a search for something 'collectible' by our youug narrator. The assignment is of real concern to her as she watches her classmates excitedly discuss those many things that have captured their attention.

"I've emptied out my closet.
I've searched beneath my bed.
The random items I've unearthed
don't share a common thread.
I hope my friends and family
can give me some direction.
I'm trying not to panic -
but I need a good collection!"

Her search has her checking with members of her family for inspiration. Each one has a collection that is very special to them. Dad has trains, Mom a button box, Sister has snow globes, and her brothers have baseball cards. She talks with her grandparents, her aunts, her friends and neighbors.

There seems no end to ideas for collecting. None seem to spark an enduring interest for this young lady. It is lovely to note that each collection brings joy to the collector, and helps readers learn a little bit about each through the poems shared. After careful research and abundant thought, she is finally able to find a collection that is unique and perfectly shows readers who she is.

There is variety in poetic form, and presentation. Digital art provides context for the poems, the people, and the personal relationships. At the end, Ms. Schaub offers suggestions to her readers for getting starting at collections of their own. Let imagination guide the search, take time, and be patient.

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