I’m in San Francisco this week—near the ocean—a perfect moment to mention a new poetry book by David L. Harrison called Vacation; We’re Going to the Ocean, illustrated by Rob Shepperson (Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, 2009). It’s a fun and engaging summer poem collection, with a strong boy sensibility, and a story framework that bounces from poem to poem, cartoon to cartoon. Its small trim size (5 x 7) adds to its packable portability. My only quibble—a small one—is that the two-column layout of a few of the poems suggests they can be read simultaneously by two voices, but instead it’s simply to maximize space on the page. It’s a tad confusing in a few instances, but not a deal-breaker.
This small “beach book” packs a walloping 45 poems from “Hi” to “Home at Last” detailing a family’s road trip to the beach and their brief stay there. Each poem adds another moment, all from the perspective of a young boy named Sam who collects a spider, scorpion, tarantula, and crab along the way. Kids will enjoy the poems about sitting in the car, potty breaks, spending the night with relatives, camping, cookouts, coping with siblings, art museum stops, hiking, hotel overnights, and of course beach time activities. Shepperson’s black and white cartoons on every page add a strong dose of storytelling and humor, giving each family member a distinctive personality. (Harrison and Shepperson collaborated previously on Bugs, another small-sized, visually and verbally inviting poem collection.)
Here’s just a sample, sure to be a familiar topic to anyone who has sat in a car with kids for more than 5 minutes!
Are We There Yet?
by David L. Harrison
from Harrison, David L. 2009. Vacation; We’re Going to the Ocean. Illustrated by Rob Shepperson. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, p. 14.
If you can’t get to the ocean yourself this summer, here’s a virtual vacation, complete with rambunctious kids and sand in your _________. Enjoy!
This week, the Poetry Friday Roundup is at A Year of Reading. See you there!
Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2009. All rights reserved.