KidLit: Wonder and Whimsy Poems for Kids, written and illustrated by Cookie Combs
Each poem in Cookie Combs’ book for children, Wonder and Whimsy Poems for Kids, could be a storybook on its own. Her poems tell stories and they have neat endings—mostly unpredictable. She tells the stories very much in the spirit of Dr. Seuss, hence the whimsy and unpredictability.
The poems express feelings many kids have (“Not Everyone Likes to Go to Camp”), provide answer to mysteries (“Where the Tooth Bumps Go”), and relate some of the frustrations of childhood (“The Problem with Giants”). There are six poems (additional titles are “The Bear Next to Me,” “Crocodilly,” and “What’s a Diddle?”) in Wonder and Whimsy Poems for Kids, illustrated with pen and colored pencil drawings that are a perfect fit with the tales told.
As you must be aware, Cookie Combs is the new United States Rhyme Commissioner (appointed by me, Czar of the United States Department of Poetry), and she achieved this rank by respecting rhyme and meter; there’s no verse abuse in her books. Wonder and Whimsy Poems for Kids, like Musing and Amusing Poems for Kids, is a delight to read, because the words work together. There are no metric lapses causing readers to reread entire poems in order to deliver them correctly, and Combs seems to be a total stranger to forced rhymes. God bless her.
It is not hyperbole to assert that each poem could stand alone as a storybook. They are short enough for bedtime stories, yet long enough to be entertaining and suspenseful. Each one addresses things with which children are familiar, either through experience or imagination, and Combs has a style that is characteristically her own.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Wonder and Whimsy Poems for Kids? Yes; all the poems are good, but I especially enjoyed “The Problem with Giants” and its clever ending.