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Children's Bookshelf I LIKE YOU, IF YOU LIKE ME: POEMS
OF FRIENDSHIP, selected and edited by Myra Cohn Livingston
(Macmillan: $11.95; 144 pp., age 10-up).

June 21, 1987|KRISTIANA GREGORY

Remember the breathtaking verse scrawled by chums in our yearbooks and autograph albums? They were words that sealed devotion and revealed feelings of love, such as, "If the ocean was milk / And the bottom was cream, / I'd dive for you / Like a submarine." Ah, romance.

This gem is among 90 poems gathered here from traditionalists like Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost and Langston Hughes, to contemporaries Shel Silverstein, Charlotte Zolotow and X. J. Kennedy. All explore the perils of friendship, the joy and the pain, the arrivals and the departures.

Angeleno Myra Cohn Livingston is a distinguished poet, as well as a lecturer, critic and prolific anthologist. She evidently took much care with this volume for the variety of emotions, and the simple layout will surely appeal to youngsters either privately or at slumber-party read-alouds. It is meticulously organized with a Table of Contents, then Indexes of Titles, Authors, First Lines, and Translators.

What could have been a mere textbook instead evokes dignity and thought, such as these lines from Hughes: "I loved my friend. / He went away from me. / There's nothing more to say. / The poem ends, / Soft as it began-- / I loved my friend."

BUBBLES: POETRY FOR FUN AND MEANING, edited by Theodore E. Wade Jr.; illustrations by Elfred Lee and Norman Rockwell (Gazelle: $9.95; 159 pp.; age 8-up). Fifty-four authors share easy poems followed by their thoughts on writing and inspirations. Several pencil drawings by Elfred Lee and three reprints by Norman Rockwell show children in typical poses. This would be good for kids curious about how ideas bloom into verse.

BETTER TENNIS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS by George Sullivan (Dodd, Mead: $10.95; 62 pp.: age 9-up). Doxens of black-and-white photos illustrate this basic "How to" for youngsters already with blisters on the palm. Professional instructors give advice for beginners as well as advanced players.

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