Green as a Bean
"Kuskin's 1960 text, Square as a House, gets a new title and, thanks to Iwai's (B Is for Bulldozer) velvety, fanciful pictures, a new lease on life. With a bespectacled, wide-eyed boy serving as a pretend tour guide, the book unfolds in a series of rhyming "What if" musings."
(From a Publisher's Weekly starred review)
“Kuskin offers more winning poetry in this cheerful picture book that is sure to inspire loud crowd participation. The rhyming text is a game of hypothetical questions: "If you could be soft / would you be the snow / or twenty-five pillows / or breezes that blow / the blossoms that fall from / the sassafras tree? / Tell me, sweet soft one, / what would you be?" More questions follow, each representing a different quality--loud, fierce, small, green, blue, bright, and so on. Lines in expertly modulated rhyme and meter encourage children to imagine themselves as everything from a tiny "mouse's house's front door key" to the whole of the sky, and the parade of images, both profound and silly, are nicely extended in Iwai's bright, fanciful acrylic paintings. As in so much of Kuskin's work, the enjoyable, even hypnotic sounds and the meaning of the words reinforce each other beautifully; "If you could be loud," for example, is followed by forceful lines that demand a strong, assertive voice: "thunder at night," the "howl of a hound," "the pound of the sea." Sure to be a read-aloud favorite, this will also be an excellent choice for elementary poetry units; it may well inspire students to write their own verses about infinite possibilities.”Gillian Engberg
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(From a Booklist starred review)