I literally squealed with happiness when I first heard about and then finally read Michelle Schaub and Carmen Saldaña’s new poetry picture book, Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections (Charlesbridge, 2019).
As some of you may have guessed, “Collector” is my middle name. I’m what you’d call a born collector — it’s part of my DNA. It began with Japanese rice candy sponge animals, Crackerjack toys and Golden books during childhood, and has continued throughout my life: character wristwatches, hearts, rubber stamps, stationery, fountain pens, finger puppets, salt and pepper shakers, pigs (a passing phase), tea and tea paraphernalia, Coach leather bags, doll furniture, music in various formats, Beatrix Potter everything.
And then, of course, my most enduring obsessions: foodie picture books, poetry, literary cookbooks, china and crockery (mostly English), and teddy bears (especially Paddington!). Indeed, we had to move into a larger house just to accommodate the bears. 😀
In Finding Treasure, a delightful story told in 18 fetching poems, our young narrator is feeling a little panicky about a school assignment:
My teacher gave us homework
that has me quite perplexed.
He asked us all to bring to class
something we collect.
All her classmates have things to share — marbles, arrowheads, teddy bears — but the girl doesn’t have a collection, so she studies the collections of family and friends for ideas and inspiration.