They Only See the Outside
Kalli Dakos’s newest collection of children’s poems in They Only See the Outside is driven by those experiences that children feel on the inside, but are sometimes hidden from view to those watching from the outside. The poems cover a range of topics, some humorous like the poem, I Called My Teacher Mommy and A Fire Drill in my Underwear. Other poems explore death and bullying, such as J.T. Never Will be Ten, about a child grieving his nine-year-old friend who died today. The simplicity of On the Day My Dog Died hits home. Were You Ever Fat Like Me? is about a girl who wants to ask her teacher if she had been a child like her, hoping that if so, then she will grow up to be an adult like her. Dakos’s poems help children navigate some of life’s challenges with humor and compassion. Jimothy Oliver’s black and white illustrations are sprinkled throughout the book and add an element of silliness and fun, while also delivering tension and heart-wrenching sadness to the more poignant poems.
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