From Uncle Brooklyn, who is fussing and fretting over Pearl the Cat, to the midnight dreamers who “Pluck the stars like peaches ripe, and keep them for a while,” this book is filled with lively verses celebrating the stories of everyday folks. Each poem dances joyfully off the tongue (begging to be read aloud).
There is a beautiful blend of whimsy and poignance. “The Petty Harbour Cow” and “The Worried Chicken” will have young readers giggling, and “Marc Chagull” and “Itchy’s Moonsong” are similarly sweet and satisfying. Numerous selections–“Nan and Poppies,” “The House Next Door” and “Here Comes the Sun”–are more tender, heartfelt and stirring. It is a perfect blend, making this book pure fun with room for pensive contemplation.
The energy and exuberance that Kansala exudes in these tales is well matched in the rich and vivid illustrations. Bright, bold colour and a subtle infusion of collage elements combine to bring the Newfoundland setting to life in each image, just as the poems capture a distinct sense of place. Words and images work together to create a rollicking and richly cadenced collection that is playful, jubilant, nostalgic and heartwarming.
While some of the poems have an almost tongue-twisting quality, their rhythm never falters. It is truly a book for all ages to savour and enjoy.
All Around the Circle
Cara Kansala and Max Dorey