Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Keepers: Treasure-Hunt poems

Keepers: Treasure-Hunt poems

John Frank
Photographer: Ken Robbins
For ages 7 to 10
Roaring Brook Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1596431973

Hunting for treasure is something that people of all ages love to do. They pan for gold in a stream, they search a beach for the perfect shell, they dig in the earth for hours hoping to find a fossil. Other people search through boxes of objects at a flea market or yard sale hoping to find a rare book or baseball card, an old pocket watch or a pretty pendent. Searching for that special something is, in and of itself, a delightful adventure.

In this collection of poems, John Frank explores the nature of treasure hunts. There are the walks on the beach where one can find sea glass, a rare “teardrop jewel.” After a storm, one might find a glass float or a gold coin “from the cargo hold / of a long-lost Spanish wreck.”

There are those searches through dusty attics that reveal all kinds of odd bits and pieces from the past. There is vintage hat that seems ridiculous at first, until one tries it on! There is an old doll that was once was loved by a little girl, and a snow globe “A winter frozen in a dome of glass.” There is an old medal that once belonged to Grandpa. He refuses to speak about his war experience, but the medal speaks for him.

Using all kinds of rhyming forms and word patterns, John Frank shows his readers that a treasure can be anything. It can be a geode or a baseball card, an arrow head, or a piece if glass. All that matters is that it is something that you have found and that you treasure.

Ken Robbins’ beautiful photographs compliment the poems perfectly, capturing the wonder that one can experience when one is on a treasure hunt.