Friday, December 21, 2007

Do Rabbits Have Christmas?

I’m happy to report that poet Aileen Fisher is having a comeback! A selection of 15 of her poems originally published in 8 different poetry books from as long ago as 1946, have been gathered in this lovely picture book collection, Do Rabbits Have Christmas, with a forward by Karla Kuskin. The delicate illustrations by nature artist Sarah Fox-Davies are the perfect accompaniment, placed just so for each poem, whether as a small cameo image or a double-page spread. Her careful, naturalistic renderings of the animals, in particular, keep the images from veering into preciousness. And Fisher’s language is ever fresh and crisp, providing glimpses of moments with an intimate first person voice in lines that rhyme effortlessly. The subject is unabashedly Christmas, full of anticipation, wonder, speculation, and delight, with a focus on the weather, the woods, and small animals-- the mouse, the kitten, the chickadee, the rabbit. Whether your view includes a snowy landscape or not (it's 73 degrees here in Texas today!), the poetry evokes a thoughtful quietness and sparkly spirit that is irresistible. Here’s just a taste.

Before Christmas
by Aileen Fisher

We sing, and plan,
and watch the date,
and write some cards…
and wait and wait.

We look for presents
at the store
and make some, too…
and wait some more.

We wrap our gifts
and tie them straight,
and frost some cookies
on a plate,
and buy a tree
to decorate,
but most of all
we wait… and wait.

From Fisher, Aileen. 2007. Do Rabbits Have Christmas? Illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies. Henry Holt.

Pair this book with Valerie Worth’s out of print gem, if you can find it, At Christmastime (HarperCollins, 1992) illustrated by Antonio Frasconi.

And for more on award winning poet Aileen Fisher, check out my previous Sept. 9, 2006 posting, in honor of her birthday.

Join the rest of the Poetry Friday gathering at AmoXcalli.

Picture credit:

1 comment:

laurasalas said...

I love, love, love this book, Sylvia. Thanks for the review and spreading the words.