Calef Brown’s We Go Together offers a different twist for Valentine rhymes. In a small illustrated book of 18 poems, this “A Curious Selection of Affectionate Verse” includes a plan for starting a band in the eight lines of “Totally.” Other pals include “Mirth Makers,” “Two Scallywags,” “Two Kiwis,” and more – all accompanied by illustrations of snowmen, roller skating dogs, friendly creatures from outer space (with antennae) or lots of people laughing. Some are silly, but all have the flavor of happy camaraderie.
If someone makes a crack
or puts me down,
you back me up
and stick around.
when I get in a tangle.
I lean on you
at a steep angle –
I’m so inclined.
A better friend
I’ll never find.
Because of You
I was once
Now I’m a half-fuller.
Because of you –
So if I should smile
And say something sunny,
Don’t look at me funny
or act surprised.
Because of you ,
With the excitement of a youngster who has found a hidden treasure, Charles D. Cohen, has compiled a book of seven short stories – The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss – written by Theodore Geisel before he became famous as the Dr. Seuss of The Cat in the Hat, and other tales. The stories appeared in magazines from 1940 to 1959, and Cohen offers an informative introduction detailing the references, including anecdotal sources, and a few notable reminders of Geisel’s genius.
Whether you are an adult with a penchant for “messages” in Dr. Seuss’s tales, or a child who cannot get enough of the rhyme scheme, the stories are fun to read:
The Bippolo Seed– a duck wishing for food, who asks for things he cannot use.
The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga – a rabbit who saves himself from a bear by using an eyelash.
Gustav, the Goldfish – a fish who overeats and keeps outgrowing his bowl.
Tadd and Todd – a pair of twins’ adventures
Steak for Supper – with Mulberry Street and a host of strange critters
The Strange Shirt Spot – the first time that bathtub spot from the Cat in the Hat makes an appearance in Seuss lore.
The Great Henry McBride – the possibilities of being able to do anything
If you are a fan of Dr. Seuss, you too will think you’ve discovered long-lost treasure.
Meeting the author is always exciting – the chance to get your book signed, the possibility of asking about the inspiration, the moment to bask in the glow of creativity – hoping some will rub off. Anita Benson Bradley is an accomplished artist, relocated to Hawaii from Monterey, California. Bradley’s watercolors and acrylics have won awards – my favorite is her Beach Girl (Sue) – check it out on her website.
In Mermaids Rhymes and Tails, Benson connects her art with sassy rhymes to entertain children as well as her “whimsical” adult friends.
Some poems tease with references to “fish breath” and “seaweed hair”; others offer magic and water play. Bradley sprinkles her lively sketches throughout, ending with two pages of black and white “underwater sketches done with squid ink.” Since Anita Bradley is an avid snorkeler, it’s possible those sketches really were outlined underwater.