Talking Like the Rain: A Read-to-Me Book of Poems
Selected by: X. J. Kennedy and Dorothy M. Kennedy;
Illustrator: Jane Dyer
Pages: 96
Publisher/Date: Little, Brown/Time Warner Book Group/1992
ISBN: 0316488895
Age Levels: 4-8 and up

Book Review

The Kennedys have done a superb job in selecting the poems for this read-aloud. The titles run the gamut of sweetly simple (Langston Hughes' "Piggy Back"), to the powerful (Georgia Roberts Durston's "The Wolf").
There is something for everyone here. Readers will find old favorites—"The Purple Cow"—as well as a few not-so-well-known but soon-to-be favorites such as William Jay Smith's lovely and lyrical "Polar Bear."

The book is divided into nine, themed sections: Plays, Families, Just for Fun, Birds, Bugs and Beasts, Rhymes and Songs, Magic and Wonder, Wind and Weather, Calendars and Clocks, and, finally, Day and Night.

Making their appearance are, among others, Robert Louis Stevenson, Joan Aiken, Jane Yolen, Gwendolyn Books, A. A. Milne, and Wallace Stevens.

Jane Dyer, as always, does a magnificent job with the illustrations. There are full-page pictures and spot art throughout, extending and enriching the text. Readers will want to linger over the realistic, charming watercolors.

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2003 Education Oasis

About the Author

X. J. Kennedy's poems have appeared in more than one hundred fifty textbooks and anthologies and have been aired on the Today show, Good Morning America, and Garrison Keillor's radio programs. Formerly a professor of English at Tufts University, X.J. Kennedy lives with his wife in Lexington, Massachusetts.

X. J. and Dorothy M. Kennedy were born (respectively) in Dover, N.J. and Milwaukee. They met as graduate students at the University of Michigan, and have since produced five children, two best-selling college English textbooks, and anthologies of poetry for children. On her own, Dorothy has compiled two other anthologies of verse for kids.

About the Illustrator

Jane Dyer is the creator of the best-selling Animal Crackers as well as the illustrator of numerous other picture books. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and works in a studio overlooking her garden.