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Fold Me A Poem    by Kristine O'Connell George & Lauren Stringer order for
Fold Me A Poem
by Kristine O'Connell George
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Poet Kristine O'Connell got the idea for Fold Me A Poem while observing a youngster create origami animals out of colorful paper. O'Connell saw similarities between origami and poetry - 'how a few spare words, carefully chosen ... a few small folds, artfully made, can bring a sheet of paper to life.'

In thirty-two poems, O'Connell portrays a boy cutting and folding paper to create origami animal friends. The oversized-book lapel says 'The sun is up. / It's a crisp new day - / a day for folding ... and creating ... and imagining. / An origami day!' Illustrator Lauren Stringer's vivid colors capture the joyous expressions on the boy's face(and his black cat too) as he folds his animal world including a buffalo, camel, rabbit, monkey, kangaroo, and dragon.

The poet's titles and words define scenes, such as the 'Robin's Invitation' to 'Fold a set of wings / for yourself / I'll show you / sky.' The 'Cheetah and Lion' tell the boy 'Thank you / for our swift running legs! / When we return / we will let you know / who won the race.' As the boy looks at different designs of paper, he ponders 'Possibilities' for 'Forty bright sheets / of colored paper, / a world of animals. / Who will be next?'

He also creates a 'Pond' for a frog, tulips in 'Spring', and an elephant from a 'Recycled' paper bag. Finally, it is bedtime, time to close the day and sleep, while a 'Mystery' develops: 'Before I sleep, / I hear rustling - / soft / papery / whisper-thumps. / Is someone dancing?' In A Note from the Illustrator, Stringer tells how she went to the library and began her own origami adventure, and a list of books is provided for readers interested in discovering the art form.

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