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Poems to SolveJuan Bobo and the PigThe Ancestor TreePaco and the WitchThose Calculating CrowsBilly and EmmaElizabeti's DollWho's In the HallMama ElizabetiA Safe Place Called HomeElizabeti's SchoolIt Rainded All Day That NightYou're Not My Real MotherAfrican American Read-AloudSky DancerscookbookGuess AgainphphDreaming_Up
THe_Forgiveness_Garden Amazing_Places-thumbThe_Cambodian_Dancer-thumbAntsyAnselcvr
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The Complete Poems to Solve
by May Swensen, illustrated by Christy Hale
(Macmillan, 1993)
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A selection of the author's poetry, largely dealing with nature, which challenges the reader to guess the subject of each poem or a meaning not immediately obvious.
awards • reviews
The Hungry Mind Review, Children's Books of Distinction Award

The National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval

From School Library Journal
(Grade 5 Up) "A characteristic of all poetry," writes Swensen
in her introductory essay," . . . is that more is hidden in it
than in prose." That belief is obvious in both the title and in each of the selections found here. With one exception, the
72 poems appeared in the previously published Poems to
(1969; o.p.) and More Poems to Solve (1970; o.p.,
both Scribners) and provide a major representation of the
work of one of America's leading poets. The sly riddle poems will appeal to children. Many, like "Living Tenderly," can be pleasantly decoded with a little effort. Others are more demanding: "An Extremity" begins: "Roused from napping in my lap,/ this nimble animal or five-legged star/ parts its limbs sprat-wide" (a hand). The sophisticated tone and challenging vocabulary will require readers' full attention; but with sensitive presentation, the magic of the poems will be accessible to a broad audience.
—Lee Bock, Brown County Public Libraries, Green Bay, WI

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     Pen Swenson