A diverse collection of titles introduces young people to poetry's varying moods
and styles. Kuskin will capture readers from the opening "Foreword poem"
onward in Moon, Have You Met My Mother?: The Collected Poems of Karla
Kuskin, illus. by Sergio Ruzzier, which not only introduces the poems to come,
but also succinctly expresses why she writes. New works share space with fans'
dog-eared favorites, such as the sad tale of Charlie and the cat who goes missing
"when they were neither here not there,/ stopping for gas/ along the road in
Maine," or her advice to "Write about a radish/ Too many people write about the
moon." Her humor infuses verse to entertain ("The lion looks extremely proud./
But when he eats,/ he chews too loud") as well as to make the medicine go down
("I need to read./ It's a little like breathing/ or eating/ or drinking/ my life's link
to thinking"). Ruzzier's line illustrations resemble some of Sendak's early
drawings, with just the right blend of sophistication and levity.