Review By JANE COWLES
Recently, I discovered this gem on the shelves of my local library. A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down by Dana Jensen is a uniquely delightful composition of poems. The words portray the size, shape, smell and sound of nature with a sense of curiosity that is enhanced by not knowing when you turn each page, whether you will follow the words up or down. The illustrations done by Tricia Tusa subtly suggest which way to read – upward pointing noses, eyes peering down atop a Ferris wheel and a ladybug climbing a dandelion. These poems entice the reader to explore nature. To look at it with a sense of awe inspiring wonder. Giraffes are so tall perhaps they dine on stars, the Grandfather clock is taller than my grandfather and waterfalls splash lovely blue music. Perhaps my favorite —
With just a few words, the author evokes the human emotion of fear. Stars, like humans, want to live on forever. It is a mature picture book that encourages children to think about emotions, nature and life in a refreshingly light and playful way. These poems are sure to inspire the creative minds of children ages 8-11.