This picture book contains three rhyming narrative poems illustrated with cheerful pen-and-ink and watercolor pictures by Deb Morales.
The author imbues the poems with sprightliness and sense of fun. In “The Search for Blue Bear,” the author writes of a missing stuffed bear: “Where, oh where/Is the bear with blue hair?/ I can’t seem to find him/anywhere.” In “Rabbit Renee’s Mama,” Rabbit Renee searches for her “mama” – only to eventually to learn that her distress “’twas all in a dream.” The third poem follows a housebound mouse who decides to go outside and play. (“It’s a warm place to be./ Come try it, you’ll see.”)
While the poems’ subjects are engaging, the book is hampered by several flaws. The text contains occasional typos and unnecessary capitalizations, as in: “Oh Rabbit, what Is [sic] it / That has you so down?/ From mv [sic] window I saw you./ Your face In [sic} a frown.”
Often, the strong rhythm is broken with sudden changes in the number of syllables: “Look there by the gate/ And under the beets./ Do you see her?/Can you hear her thumping her feet?” Such moments rob the pieces of their gathering momentum and will be jarring for parents reading the poems aloud to their children.
Also jarring are several problems in presentation. The cover title, for example, leaves it unclear if Beca Cross is a character in this book or its author, and there are unnecessary quotation marks around “A Trilogy.” The title and subtitle are rendered differently on the title and dedication pages. Finally, calling a single book of three poems “A Trilogy” overplays the limited contents. A better subtitle would be “Three Poems,” which makes for better clarity and avoids the aforementioned issue.
Those who can overlook the lack of polish in production and meter will find three entertaining stories in rhyme. A bit of revise, however, would go a long way in widening the book’s appeal.
Also available as an ebook.