Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
Make sure that your heart Isn't too well-defended. Your heart is designed To be broken and mended. --- “The Heart”
These quietly beautiful and surprisingly humorous four-line poems reveal the many aspects of first love --- the longing, the frustration and the joy. The poet writes not from a single point of view but instead embraces the duality of first love, alternating between the perspectives of a boy and a girl. The poems and revealing illustrations by Julie Morstad combine to inspire young readers to think ... and think again.
About the authors
Born in Hamilton, Ontario and raised nearby in Dundas, JonArno Lawson's most formative experiences as a child occurred in Florida which he visited for an extended stay at the age of eight. Happy to be missing almost an entire year of school, he filled his days at the beach digging holes and collecting shells and coconuts, travelling in glass-bottomed boats and touring nature parks that featured free-roaming monkeys and parrots. He wore a ship captain's hat at all times, and a green pouch in which he kept dozens of ticket stubs, a musket ball, brass souvenir coins that bore the faces of various American presidents, and other treasures which he hoards to this day. JonArno is a two-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Children's Poetry, for Black Stars in a White Night Sky in 2007 and again in 2009 for A Voweller's Bestiary. In 2011 his poetry collection Think Again was short-listed for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award. JonArno lives in Toronto with his wife Amy Freedman and his children Sophie, Ashey and Joseph, all of whom assist the author with phrases, topics and sometimes even complete lines for use in his poems.
span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">Julie Morstadspan lang="EN-US" style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA"> is an author, illustrator and artist living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her most recent book for children, How To, marks her authorial debut, and has received starred reviews in Kirkus, School Library Journal and Quill & Quire, as well as a Governor General's award nomination. Books she has illustrated for children include When You Were Small, recipient of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award; When I Was Small, winner of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize; and Singing Away the Dark, which was shortlisted for a number of children's literature prizes.
- Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
Lawson's writing is spare and humourous, and he captures universal feelings whose force never seems as huge as in adolescence.
Voice of Youth Advocates
It is filled with witty, insightful, playful, and ontarget poems. ThinkAgain should be forced into the hands of every sensitive, soul-searching teen. They might even mumble a thank you for it.
Quill & Quire, Starred Review
An ideal book for wandering, wondering romantics.
He focuses on mind and heart, bringing a warmth and depth of reflection that seems to open our brain, cells to new perceptions --- just what poetry is there for.
While the illustrator's spare grayscale drawings curiously stitch more of a narrative thread through the volume than the poems suggest, they effectively amplify the tension they masterfully depict.
Think AgainIf children’s poetry fans aren’t familiar with Toronto poet JonArno Lawson, they need to be. He is the fellow who brought us these clever collections of children’s poetry: The Man in the Moon-fixer’s Mask, Black Stars in a White Night Sky and A Voweller’s Bestiary. In his fourth poetry collection for young people, he shares 48 poems which chronicle the journey of a boy and a girl as they navigate the peaks, valleys and in-between terrain of first love.
A poem entitled “The Heart” gives a taste of the collection: “Make sure that your heart / Isn’t too well defended: / Your heart is designed / To be broken and mended.” Though all of the poems are quatrains, Lawson’s use of several rhyme schemes (i.e. aabb, abcb, abcd) prevents the collection from growing monotonous.
Julie Morstad’s black-and-white line drawings, rendered in pen and ink, enhance the quiet and pensive mood of the poems. I will leave you to linger with the book’s title poem: “Eventually a thought will come / But no one can say when: / If you think thinking’s easy, / Think again.”
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2010. Volume 33 No. 4.
Think AgainFirst love can be confusing and difficult. In this collection of beautiful four-line poems, author JonArno Lawson explores the thrills and disappointments of first love. Julie Morstad’s simple, understated line drawings add strength and visual depth to the poems.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.
Other titles by JonArno Lawson
Other titles by Julie Morstad
Swan (international pb)
The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
Time is a Flower
Where You Came from
Girl on a Motorcycle
It Began With a Page
How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery
This is Sadie
A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli