Rosen, Michael. A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young, illustrated by Chris Riddell. Candlewick Press, 2015. $19.99. POETRY PICTURE BOOK.
Author Michael Rosen presents a wide-range of poems of different lengths, styles, and complexity. All the poems have either rhythm or rhyme (and often both) to create delightful poems to read aloud. The poem, “Lunchtime” is a great example of both rhythm and rhyme: “Time for lunch / Munch munch / Time for a munch / Crunch crunch / Munch munch / Crunch crunch / Munchy munchy / Crunchy crunchy.” Rosen also uses repetition; in his poem “Oh Dear”, the narrator went to the shop for a carrot and got a parrot. The narrator laments, “Oh dear! / Look what I got / Do I want that? / No I do NOT!” The narrator gets a cat instead of a hat, and so on. Chris Riddell’s watercolor and pencil illustrations are warm, imaginative, inviting, and indispensable to the storytelling of the poems. These poems of humor, charm, and light-hearted fun paired with beautiful detailed illustrations are sure to appeal to the “Very Young” and even older children.
Pre-K, EL-ADVISABLE. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.