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The Kingfisher Book of Family Poems

Selected by Belinda Hollyer; illustrated by Holly SwainLarousse Kingfisher Chambers; $18.95.



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The Kingfisher Book of Family Poems celebrates the qualities that make your family unique. Every quirk, joy, everyday event, and nonevent of family life is served up in this feast of poems, selected by Belinda Hollyer.

Think poetry is sushi and you’re a meat-and-potatoes family? Think again. Hollyer includes poems for every taste, from Shel Silverstein’s and Jack Prelutsky’s easy humor to Gwendolyn Brooks’ and Janet S. Wong’s rich, hold-it-in-your-mouth-awhile-and-savor-it language.

Hollyer’s introduction is the perfect appetizer for the courses that follow. The 159 poems in the collection are served up under tantalizing headings, such as Family Quilt, Mama Look Like Christmas, and Never Stew Your Sister. The selections offer sips of what it’s like to be part of an adoptive family, foster family, or stepfamily. The collection also has a warm, multicultural flavor.

Keep this book in mind for others as a great Gotcha Day, Welcome Home, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day gift. Or buy it anytime for your own family, and celebrate those ingredients that make your family like and unlike every other.

Reviewed by Kay Marner, a mother by birth and adoption who works for the public library in Ames, Iowa.

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