In my reading life, I've found poetry a challenge. It requires an intelligence and an agility prose does not demand, at the same time beckoning the wider eye we use for paintings or for sculpture. The challenge can be discouraging. Not so with Prelude to Bruise, the 2015 poetry collection by poet and Buzzfeed editorial director, Saeed Jones. The book is divided into six sections–fitting, as the collection seems to begin again frequently, and end too soon. Jones' trains on a number of traditional themes—beauty, Greek mythology, body violence—a modern legibility that, at some points, brought me to tears. The experience was much more visceral than comprehension. My favorite poem is "Boy in a Whalebone Corset," which delivers this marvelous stanza: "dream-headed/with my corset still on, stays/slightly less tight, bones against/bones."
For her birthday, my daughter asked for a book about a pony. So her grandma found the utterly delightful book, The Princess and the Pony, by Kate Beaton. It's about a young warrior named Princess Pinecone who asks for a battle steed and instead receives a roly poly, flatulent little horse. Pinecone is disappointed at first, but she learns to appreciate the skills of this pony and is happy to have him. The illustrations are great, and to my mind there's no such thing as too young for fart jokes.