April 21, 2009 at 2:34 am 1 comment

Look out!  It's a Stampede!

Look out! It's a Stampede!

My 6-year-old son’s face turned beet red when I read the poem “Blush” from Laura Salas’s new book “Stampede” to him. Turns out he has a crush on a classmate. I enjoyed reading “Stampede” with him. We laughed out loud reading “King of the Jungle (Gym)”. I call Brandon “my little monkey” because he’s been climbing and swinging before he could walk. And that’s what’s so unique about Laura Salas’s book. She uses poetry to portray incidents that happen at school that children can relate to, but with an unusual twist – the kids are depicted as animals. I’m sure every reader will relate to one or more of Laura’s poems. I liked “Turtleneck” because it reminded me of all those times I wanted to crawl into a shell and hide because I didn’t want my teacher to call on me.

The illustrator, Steven Salerno, make the words jump off the page through his illustrations. My son laughed at the spiked hair in the poem “Prickly” and the duck that was out of line in the poem “Ducks in a Row.”

I recommend adding this book to your collection. You’ll have fun reliving your school days and may feel like a red cardinal when you remember your first crush.

You can find out more about Stampede by going to Laura’s website at:


Entry filed under: Book Reviews, Poetry. Tags: , .

Easter Day I’m Going to Chautauqua

1 Comment

  • 1. laurasalas  |  April 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Hi Jenny–Thanks so much for posting about Stampede!

    Funny thing about Blush–When my editor and I looked at bringing the collection to a 1st-grade level or so (I had thought of the poems as for 3rd-4th grade), she wanted the kid in Blush to be embarrassed about something else. We tried lots of things, but we ended up keeping the crush, and I’m so glad. Tons of kids in that K-2nd grade range have their first crushes on someone, and it’s both cute and blush-worthy!

    P.S. I hate to impose, but if you have time, would you be willing to post your review on and/or Amazon? is posting a terrible review of Stampede from Kirkus, and it would be lovely to have a good customer review to offset it. I understand if you don’t have time, though.

    P.P.S. CONGRATULATIONS on going to Chautauqua! You will have a wonderful time and come away newly inspired. It’s a fabulous setting and time to focus on writing for kids. Yay!

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