Friday, September 04, 2009

Me With You by Kristy Dempsey

I have been remiss in not reviewing this lovely picture book. Kristy Dempsey, who is a LiveJournal friend of mine, first wrote this poem for her husband; now, it is a beautiful picture book featuring a little girl and her grandfather. As you may have guessed from the cover art, the people aren't people, they're bears.

While the book is entitled Me With You, much of the poem is a celebration of the way the people – er, bears – interact with one another. It begins this way:

We're a pair beyond compare,
a rare and special two,
in all the ways that I am me
and you're completely you.

But most of the rest of the poem is in an "I'm me when I do this, while you do that" format. It's kind of a celebration of how sometimes a good relationship enhances the good points about the individuals involved. Perhaps my favorite is:

I'm me on an adventure,
digging treasure from the sand,
and when the path is rocky,
you are there to hold my hand.

The poem is written in rhyme in a form known as a fourteeners (rhymed couplets in which each line has fourteen syllables – usually 7 iambic feet, with the odd exception here and there of a line with only 13 syllables because it began with a single accented syllable in lieu of an iambic foot), which gives it a lovely, rolling feel. Because fourteeners tend to lend themselves to long lines, they are often (as here) split into two lines, alternating four and three iambic feet (8 and 6 syllables each).

Kristy's lovely words are accompanied by marvelous illustrations by Christopher Denise. You can find out more about him and his work in a marvelous interview over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

You can get a feel for the book by watching this wonderful book trailer:

I was lucky enough to get a F&G (folded and gathered) copy of this book from the publisher. I encourage you all to look for the real book in stores now.

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