- Children’s Books
- A Note on Teaching Poetry
- Other Writing
The Midwest Book Review
“Bernadette to the Rescue” is the fourth adventure book of a popular series about a third grade eccentric, lovable girl detective with eco-learnings. Bernadette and her friends Annie, Keisha, and Megan decide to attend day camp together after finishing third grade, and although Bernadette fears she will miss her usual museum camp experiences, she finds challenge and meaning in investigating a mysterious disappearance of a local frog population. Using scientific method, Bernadette arrives at some surprising findings and enjoys good fellowship and growth in meeting new challenges along the way. “Bernadette to the Rescue” is a chapter book for readers ages 7-9, with appealing characters, quirky black and white drawings by Melanie Allard, and fast action with built in surprises. To instill a healthy send of self and empowerment especially in young girls along with improving language and reading skills, there is nothing like this charming series. The characters radiate genuine concern for each other and the environment, and the political correctness factor is not annoyingly obsessive, just underlying.
In the May Quill and Quire, Stevie Howell wrote:
by Susan Glickman
Susan Glickman’s newest collection opens with a Celtic incantation about aspiring to embody the virtues of nature. The yarrow sticks alluded to in the title are used in conjunction with the I Ching as tools of divination. In accordance with those referents, The Smooth Yarrow calls on ancient wisdom, is earthy and enigmatic, and trembles with embodied memory and premonition.
The first section of the book is the most arcane and fully resolved, replete with images of witches and persecution, accidental injury and natural decay, salves and wishful thinking. In “Witch’s Tit,” Glickman explores how women were once said to possess bodily marks that proved they were witches. She reasons, convincingly, “That the hand of God / if it bothered to write to us at all would surely be less / inscrutable.”
The poems in “Old Stories” are sketchier, smaller in scope, and more playful. “Hats,” for example, opens with the observation, “Hats just can’t keep a straight face!” Serious subjects do intervene: “Breath” is a meditation on death, focusing primarily on the passing of Glickman’s father, which leads to “a room full of sobbing relatives / a room I hated being dragged to, which felt obscene to me.” It is an evocative, haunting poem that leaves existential questions suspended in the air.
The final section, “In the Garden,” brings the work full circle. Glickman reflects on plants and weather, as well as insect and animal behaviour. Individually, these poems have an intimate, quiet quality that makes them lovely and accessible. But Glickman’s interest is deeper: she draws on the regenerative and uncontrollable qualities of nature as sources of inspiration – even though cultivating these interests has historically made women suspect.
Glickman’s writing is defiant: like yarrow, it is lean and strong, not only beautiful, but possessed of myriad healing properties.