Lemonade, and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word

by Bob Raczka

School Library Journal Gr 3-8-Raczka credits Andrew Russ for inspiring him to try his hand at creating poems by rearranging the letters of a single word. The letters that make up each word in the 22 selections are placed directly under the matching letters of the original word, which is used as the poem's title. The resulting odd spacing of letters and words adds an element of puzzlement to the deciphering of some words and requires a certain facility with the English language, along with the capability for recognizing words whose letters are placed horizontally, vertically or diagonally; backwards or forwards; separated by one space or six, or an entire line with no punctuation included. Each poem is printed on the verso of the following page with words in correct order. A clever, catchy, and challenging collection.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Inspired by the concrete poetry of Andrew Russ (aka endwar), Raczka's poems are all produced from the letters in single words, magnifying and playing on their meanings. "Vacation" is transformed into "action/ in/ a/ van," and the letters from "snowflakes" trickle down lazily as though from the sky. Several words result in more imaginative compositions: from "constellation" come the lines, "a/ silent/ lion/ tells/ an/ ancient/ tale." Some selections feel slight, but there's a subtle humor and power at work in many ("friend" reads simply "fred/ finds/ ed"), and readers may be spurred to construct their own. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* As in previous titles, such as Snowy, Blowy Winter (2008) and Summer Wonders (2009), Raczka offers an accessible, playful poetry collection. This time, each selection is both a poem and a puzzle. As the whimsical subtitle states, every entry begins with a single-word title whose letters, when rearranged, make up the words in the following lines, as in Bleachers : Ball / reaches / here / bases / clear / cheers. Each poem appears twice: first, the letters, printed in an old-fashioned, typewriter font, are scattered individually across an open background, and readers must piece them together to make words. On the following page, the words are set in more traditional, easily read lines. Pepperoni, for example, begins with swirling, unconnected letters that resemble ingredients being sprinkled onto a pizza's surface; on the next page, the letters are arranged in short lines: One / pie / no / pepper / onion. Doniger's spare illustrations add quirky appeal without distracting from the inventive formations of type. More than just clever gimmicks, the poems leave room for moving lines with a depth that invites imaginative wandering: A / silent / lion / tells / an ancient / tale, reads Constellation. Sure to have wide classroom appeal.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 3-8-Raczka has rearranged letters from a single word to spell out new words, creating engaging verses that are both poems and puzzlers. The odd spacing of letters and words makes deciphering somewhat difficult, but each poem is printed on the verso with words in correct order. Quiet watercolor and ink drawings complement this catchy and innovative collection. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.