Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wardrobe Rhymery: Button Up! by Alice Schertle


I live in a bucket shoved under a stair.
They call me a dust rag!
I don't think it's fair.

I'm still the same size as when I was new.
I didn't shrink--
it was Tanya who GREW.

Alice Schertle is a veteran author whose way with a rhyme have lightened up many a folktale re-telling and fractured fairy tale.  Here she turns her skills to versatile verses which explore the relationship between clothing and those who wear it. No garb, from footwear to headgear escapes her scrutiny.

We are the jammies that Joshua wears,
not jammies for elephants going upstairs.
Hippopotamus can't get us over his head.
We're JOSHUA'S jammies. We're going to bed.

Swimsuits, bike helmets, hats, galoshes, Halloween disguises--all get Schertle's discriminating attention, the article of costume often reflecting the personality of the wearer, as in this little show-off, proud of her big-girl underwear, in "Emily's Undies."
We're Emily's undies,
with laces and bows,
Emily shows us
wherever she goes

Likewise, in "Bertie's Shoelaces," the laid-back Bertie's lack of up-tight (or even tied) sneakers are reflected by his shoelaces, who lazily say as they drag along the ground...
We're hang loose laces
and we don't do bows!

Suitingly illustrated with Petra Mathers' artwork that fits the text like a glove, Schertle's updated Button Up!: Wrinkled Rhymes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) is all dressed up  in a spiffy new paperback edition, and is a real bargain, all-star glad-rags for the reviewers and readers, as cozy and welcome as the subject of her poem "Hand-me-down Sweatshirt."
I'm a hand-me-down sweatshirt
with a zipper and hood.
I'm everyone's favorite
and still looking good.

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