A Moon in Your Lunch Box
Michael Spooner
Henry Holt and Company 

ISBN 978-0805022094 (cloth)
ISBN 978-0805035452 (paper)
64 pages

a moon in your lunch box

A collection of poems that celebrates feelings and thoughts, seasons and changes, and are complemented by illustrations by Ib Ohlsson that create patterns of textures, colors, and words.

---------------

"An appealing seasonal cycle, thematically linked by the moon--symbol of change and mystery and a rich source of other imagery. These 43 carefully cadenced poems reveal a well-tuned ear but rarely employ conventional rhyme schemes. . . . Spooner has a special ability to evoke imaginative, childlike rumination and delight (``Mud Love'': ``my little bare feet/squirm sweetly in the mud/and the mud/grubbies them snugly/mud gloves . . . snuggles them grubbily/mud love''). He uses apt comparisons to startle readers into new insights (``Small Miracles'': looking at the world through a telescope, a kaleidoscope, and a poem) and, frequently, evocative phrases (``this great wet walloping day''). Humor isn't the dominant note, but there's enough for leavening." –Kirkus

---------------

Kids tell me that some of their favorite poems in this book are the shaped poems or "concrete" poems (ones where the words go all over the page instead of staying in lines). Those are fun to write, too.

When I was in grade school, I liked poetry about as much as you did. I found it especially interesting when the ideas were big ones, even if the words were small. Robert Frost's poems were like that. I still have to pause and think quietly when he says "I shan't be gone long. You come, too."

 

Since I grew up in cold country, I know exactly what Christina Rosetti means when she says "Earth as hard as iron, water like a stone." And when Robert Louis Stevenson asks of the wind, “Late in the night, when the fires are out, / Why does he gallop and gallop about?” I search myself for a clue.

 

But I loved the nonsense verse of Walt Kelly and Lewis Carroll, too. The words were so cool. “In a land where none are known / to neatly knot the Gnu . . .”  Or "Beware the Jubjub Bird, and the frumious Bandersnatch!"

This isn't old fashioned. Poetry is poetry, and what makes it good today is just the same as ever: memorable language, wrapped around a memorable idea. People like different things about different poems, but a good book for a kid should also be a good book for an adult.

That’s what I think.