9781552634707 / 1552634701

Garbage Delight: Another Helping


Publisher:Key Porter Kids



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About the book:

Dennis Lee's third collection of children's poetry has long been in need of some sprucing up. Published in 1977, the original edition of Garbage Delight has languished on library shelves for years, a victim of its bland page design and Frank Newfeld's dated illustrations. In Garbage Delight: Another Helping, Lee and illustrator Maryann Kovalski serve up a fresh new version of the '70s classic that's more likely to appeal to today's children.

This edition of Garbage Delight is not so much another helping as a whole new plate with a trimmer cut of meat and better garnishes. Only 25 of the original 64 poems have been kept, and the volume features 13 new poems, ranging from the goofy to the contemplative. Lee has also ordered the new selection to give it a loose narrative shape. But what makes it such a delight to behold is the ingenious concept behind Kovalski's winsome illustrations. Taking her cue from the title poem, the popular illustrator has peopled Lee's poetry with a family of garbage-loving raccoons who live in a curtained tree hole in the middle of a Toronto park. Kovalski's pudgy young scavengers give this volume of nonsense poems about bratty brothers and piping pixies the unity it lacked before. Lyric poems like "Baby Bird" and "The Coming of Teddy Bears" gain an unexpected poignancy from the raccoon theme, while the monster of "I Eat Kids Yum Yum!" is simply funnier as a big white dog wielding a ketchup bottle over the head of his roly-poly target.

Garbage Delight: Another Helping is vintage Lee, full of the trashy humour, clever wordplay, and familiar place names that made Alligator Pie, his first children's book, such a hit. The finest poems also suggest the softer, introspective mood of later collections like Bubblegum Delicious. Although few of these poems are as memorable as "Alligator Pie," the book's charming pictures and imaginative design more than make up for it. --Lisa Alward

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