Poetry, Orca, 2003, 80 Pages
''I'm tired of telling Batman stories,'' I told my little brother.
''Just this once, can I tell you The Three Little Pigs?''
''No,'' he snapped.
''There's no bad guys in it.
I like bad guys.''
So much for you, Big Bad Wolf.
I Gave My Mom a Castle is a collection of poems about giving and receiving. This is Jean Little's first poetry collection since the still-beloved Hey World, Here I Am! was published fifteen years ago. Most are prose poems, mini stories, told by a wide cast of characters from toddlers to teens with an adult or two thrown in for good measure.
Jean Little knows the joys and pains of growing up in the twenty-first century. She writes about being a foster child, being ignored or controlled by a parent, being the eldest, being the youngest, being hurt - or helped - by a teacher, teaching a parrot to speak, all with love, humor and depth of perception.
Kady MacDonald Denton has won many awards for her illustrations. When presented with Jean Little's poems, she could not resist illustrating I Gave My Mom a Castle. Her sketches seem ready to jump off the page. They are a great pleasure to contemplate all on their own and perfectly complement Jean Little's writing.