Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Carolyn Hembree reviews Kindergarde at Jacket2

Carolyn Hembree offers a thoughtful, rich review of  Kindergarde: Avant-Garde Poems, Plays, Stories, and Songs for Children at Jacket2.

Hembree writes: "in the vein of European avant-garde children’s literature, Kindergarde offers social and cultural critiques: education, gender, race, class, and ethnicity are among the topics examined. Yet, the makers of Kindergarde seem to collectively believe that kids get schooled enough. Thus, the experimental surfaces are so textured, the language (and imaginations) so plastic, the collection as a whole so restless that the critiques present as 'ways to be' or choices rather than didactic lessons. For example, Robert Glück and Jocelyn Sandburg’s satirical play (with photographic illustrations), 'Precious Princess, or, PIG Speak' features a finger puppet Sleeping Beauty laying an egg. And why not? As Balso the Knight tells the new mother, 'You may not have a head, but you have a big pink egg to hatch' (72). Of course, Precious Pig and Sock Monkey then host a poetry salon in an unexpected send-up of the creative writing workshop."

 Kindergarde is available from SPD and Amazon.

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