Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
I won a giveaway of Too Many Friends, Kathryn Apel‘s latest novel in verse, from Robyn Hood Black (aka artsyletters) earlier this summer. Thanks, Robyn! I finally got to read it recently!
The main character Tahnee is the sweetest kid. At first, I worried, because I thought a character whose biggest wish was for all her friends to be friends sounded too good to be true. But, really, Tahnee’s just a kid like every kid. It’s just that the thing that stresses her out the most is other people not getting along.
Tahnee’s struggles feel real, and I was rooting for her to solve things–which she does, in a realistic manner. Great insight into the friendship issues kids face, and I love that a group project is part of the crucible for these issues. Oh, how my daughters (especially my older one) hated group projects, for so many reasons. Tahnee figures out ways to be a good friend not only to her classmates but also to distant kids she’s never met. But it never feels sappy, thanks to the humor, the dialog, and the imperfections of all involved. The world needs more kids like Tahnee–maybe you could introduce your kids to her?
We’re in the process of getting a new Little Free Library, and I can’t wait to put this book inside!
Like many novels in verse, this one reads more like brief poetic prose to me than actual standalone poems, but each bit is a delight! In this poem, I love the irony of the title when you read the quotation it’s taken from, and also the realism of the interactions. It’s also a good taste of how observant Tahnee is.
Michael the Bulldozer
It’s fiddly making
but it’s also fun
talking with friends
and laughing each time
a thick bundle of coiled snake
springs out of our hands
and unravels on the floor.
Vika made it look so easy!
“Keep a good hold,” Vika says,
laughing and shaking her head
as she retrieves Kody’s weaving.
“Here, try again.”
Michael says Kody’s palm snake
looks like it’s been run over
by a bulldozer.
that Kody’s palm snake
has more bumps and bends
but Kody was really trying hard…
until Michael tried to ‘help’.
throwing his unfinished snake into the bin.
It uncoils into two crimped lengths
of palm leaf.
“I don’t need to make a dumb snake,”
“Dad will buy me a real toy one
if I ask him.”
–Kathryn Apel, all rights reserved
And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Margaret at Reflections on the Teche!