Book Review by Aarene Storms: Poisoned Apples : poems for you, my pretty

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Poisoned Apples : 
poems for you, my pretty
by Christine Heppermann

After the kiss and the trip to the castle, Sleeping Beauty's day consists of showering, shaving, shampooing, conditioning .... and so much more.

Little Miss Muffet signs up for a drastic diet to try to assuage decades of dairy-fed weight. A "house of bricks" girl gradually starves herself down to mere straw.

In this poetry collection, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, the Miller's Daughter, and many other folkloric ladies are besieged by modern body image issues including eating disorders, social pressure, verbal and physical abuse, and sexual situations.

The collection is uneven and repetitive. Some poems are deftly created, merging a traditional tale with modern sensibilities, offering insight to both.

Other pieces clunk when they roll, with messages about fat girls, mean boys, and relentless striving to conquer societal expectations, delivered via a merciless hammer fist and no reference to any external story.

Teachers and lovers of poetry will find useful bits of brilliance here, but the verses may be best enjoyed in small tastes, rather than large gulps.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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