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Marshmallow Clouds by Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek
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Marshmallow Clouds

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Marshmallow Clouds by Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek
Hardcover $19.99
Mar 15, 2022 | ISBN 9781536203035

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  • $19.99

    Mar 15, 2022 | ISBN 9781536203035 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

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Product Details


Evocative and playful. . . Jones’s full-bleed illustrations, rendered in paint and edited digitally, are striking even in their muted colors. In an afterword, Kooser and Wanek encourage readers to pay attention to their imaginations—all making for a perfect mentor text for students writing their own poems.

—The Horn Book (starred review)

Dense with imagery, wordplay, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em slant rhymes. . . an ideal collection for groups with equally varied poetry comfort levels. Jones’ paint and digital compositions are at once suggestive and spare enough to serve both readers who like a bit of visual support and those who prefer to spin their own mental images.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

Featuring poems ranging from whimsical to reflective, this illustrated collection by poets Kooser—former U.S. Poet Laureate—and Wanek spans an array of topics. . . Lovely, richly hued and textured paintings, a blend of evocative abstract and figural images, complement and reflect the poems’ multifaceted sensibilities. . . . an intriguing, often thought-provoking addition to collections, one poetry aficionados will likely revisit.
—Booklist (starred review)

Ordinary moments sparkle with imagery, beauty, and wit in this illustrated collaboration between former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and noted poet ­Connie Wanek. . . . . An enjoyable choice for introducing poetry and literary devices for all ages. . . A must purchase.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Jones incorporates images from each poem into subdued landscapes or domestic settings…often to lovely effect. . . Imagination stretchers, likely to appeal most to introspective readers fond of finding unexpected pairings and connections.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A delightful word journey through the world of everyday places and things. Using twists of phrases and word play, the authors nudge readers to actually think about what they see when they look at everyday things and to let their imagination soar. . . . This is a volume to be read again and again while savoring both the language and the pictures. . . . These joyful, beautiful poems stand on their own and will make vivid pictures in the minds of all readers. An excellent choice.
—School Library Connection (starred review)

Jones echoes the authorial duo’s restraint, and the speaker’s rural familiarity with owls, meteors, plows, and more; contrasting hues provide drama, as in scenes of a bleached moon in a dark winter sky, or a red shirt against a blue sofa. The poems evoke interior perception, reveal life through the poetic gaze, and give voice to the soft singing that goes on and on.’
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A finer collection of poetry you couldn’t hope to find this year. Little wonder, as it comes to us via working poet Connie Wanek and Ted Kooser, a former U.S. poet laureate. Some adult poets may talk down to kids when they try their hand at verse for the young. Wanek and Kooser, in contrast, revel in evocative metaphors that are deepened and appreciated with the aid of Richard Jones’ hypnotic watercolors.”

The book feels attuned to the fanciful way so many children are naturally inclined to view the world, and to guide them to an even deeper immersion. . . Spare and wholesome yet richly evocative, Richard Jones’ illustrations — of meteor showers, snowy moonlit fields, horses amid papery white birch trees and more — enhance and deepen the charm of each poem.
—The Star Tribune

Gorgeous and assured.
—The Virginian Pilot

If you are going to introduce your child to poetry, you can’t get much better than Kooser and Wanek…. This is a beautiful book with poems to be savored — sophisticated enough for adults and simple enough for kids.
—Pioneer Press

Meaningful. . . I see this picture book as a role model that could help young poets of all ages do a better job of thinking.
—The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Marshmallow Clouds is one of those books that works so effectively for young readers that it feels as though the co-authors (co-poets?) had been honing their talents for kids, specifically, for years. One of those books that will subtly coil its way around your heart. . . one of the best collections of original children’s poetry I’ve ever read. . . a beautiful book that could have the power to make your boisterous children introspective, if only for a moment
—A Fuse #8 Production

Inside this book you’ll find poems that stick inside your brain, no matter how resistant you might be to the form. Kooser and Wanek are clearly engaged in some kind of sorcery since you can never figure out where one poet started and the other stopped. It’s introspective, to say the least, and incredibly lovely. Probably the most impressive book of children’s poetry in years and definitely worth a serious conversation.
—A Fuse #8 Production

A beautiful collection for budding poets, readers will go on an adventure through fire, water, air and earth. Each poem is accompanied by beautiful illustrations from Richard Jones and explores the beauty of the world around us.
—Tiny Beans


ALSC Notable Children’s Books SELECTION 2023

Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book SELECTION 2022

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year SELECTION 2022

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year SELECTION 2022

Cybils FINALIST 2022

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