Friday, August 29, 2008

(Poetry Friday) Book Review: Our California

As bright and beautiful as California itself, Pam Munoz Ryan's Our California makes a wonderful gift for young residents of the golden state or for those planning to visit soon.

Pam Munoz Ryan takes a trip to fourteen California cities and regions, dedicating a few lines of verse to each. Ryan's California road trip begins in San Diego ("Start in the south of this golden land,/in fair San Diego, where vistas are grand") and ends in Palm Springs ("Put up your feet and enjoy the poolside.") Along the way, readers visit Yosemite, Sonoma, San Francisco, and the Central Valley.

Rafael Lopez's illustrations are stunning--they are bright and colorful and grand in the best California tradition. (Think Diego Rivera. Yes, I know Rivera is a Mexican artist if we're being precise, but we Californians--Southern Californians, especially--associate Rivera with our state.) Each city or region is devoted a two-page spread infused with sunlight and the deep colors of nature.

Information about California and each city and region featured in Our California is included in the back of the book. Our California is best suited for children ages two to six years old.
Today's Poetry Friday entry comes from Our California and concerns The Channel Islands:

Now, the Channel islands! Take a boat out
and cruise these blue waters to glimpse a whale's spout.
Here in the Pacific, among the kelp strips,
are playful sea otters and the ghosts of old ships.

A very happy Poetry Friday to you all! The roundup is at Charlotte's Library.