Books by Jr. Smith

DANCE WITH ME by Jr. Smith
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"The book may be shared equally well with large and small groups, making it an apt choice for storytimes and creative play. (Picture book. 2-5)"
"Shake, shake, shake it, baby! / Come and dance with me!" Read full book review >
CHAMELEON by Jr. Smith
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"Smith's debut into young-adult fiction holds great promise for further transition. (Fiction. YA)"
A teen explores his colors and himself in this snapshot of one summer in the city. Read full book review >
WINNING WORDS by Jr. Smith
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2008

"The immediacy of the storytelling and the lively format will attract young sports buffs looking for something different. (author's note) (Short stories. 9 & up)"
Six sports stories center on inspirational quotations. Read full book review >
THE MIGHTY 12 by Jr. Smith
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2008

"Still, an emphatic, beat-heavy read-aloud of the verses may provide the more memorable experience here for young audiences. (source list) (Mythology/poetry. 10-13)"
Writing in hip-hop cadences and with a fine disregard for exact rhymes, Smith introduces a dozen Olympians, plus Cerberus and Medusa, in verses paired to melodramatic, superhero-style portraits inked and colored by veteran comics-artist Russell. Read full book review >
IF by Rudyard Kipling
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 27, 2007

"There's no source note for this very popular and widely parodied verse, but Smith's personal afterword is approachable and thoughtful. (Picture book/poetry. 9-14)"
Smith freshens the tired "sports as life" metaphor with a combination of eye-catching graphic design, compelling sports photography and Kipling's classic inspirational poem. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2004

"A sheer delight for every fan. (Poetry. 7-10)"
In previous works Smith has extolled the virtues of basketball; here he turns his attention to baseball. Read full book review >
HOOP KINGS by Jr. Smith
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"A solid jump shot, but no slam-dunk. (Poetry. 8-14)"
Another of Smith's poetic tributes to hoops and the star athletes of the game and a companion to his earlier Hoop Queens. Read full book review >
HOOP QUEENS by Jr. Smith
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"The verse itself is not uniformly successful, and the subjects' contemporaneity put the collection at risk of dating itself, but the celebration of raw female power makes this nevertheless a worthwhile addition to collections of sports poetry. (Poetry. 8-14)"
Twelve players of the WNBA find themselves showcased in verse, against aggressively digitized graphics that emphasize speed and power. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

"A final full page of author acknowledgments and thanks would have been better utilized with basic information about the choir and its significant location. (Poetry. 6-12)"
Thirteen poems about vocal music focus on the world renowned Boys Choir of Harlem, with photographs of choir members by Smith (Loki and Alex: The Adventures of a Dog and His Best Friend, 2001, etc.). Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2001

"Unfortunately, Loki isn't the most appealing dog on the block, as he looks rather like a snarling fox in several of the photos, but Alex is a handsome lad with lots of personality. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Smith (Short Takes: Fast Break Poetry, 2001, etc.) tells the story of a boy and his dog through large photographs and one- or two-sentence descriptions of their actions around a park. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"No swish. (Poetry. 10+)"
Smallish photos in a flashy design accompany quick takes on basketball in poetic form. Read full book review >
BROWN SUGAR BABIES by Jr. Smith
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

"No candy is sweeter than these scrumptious babies in all of their delicious colors. (Picture book. 2-4)"
Poet-photographer, Smith (Tall Tales, p. 124) offers a delectable assortment of chubby-fisted, cherub-cheeked, African-American babies. Read full book review >
RIMSHOTS by Jr. Smith
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

"Smith closes with another tribute, to the African-American athletes, musicians, and artists who have meant the most to him. (Poetry. 8-11)"
Mixing poetry, memoir, short fiction, and photography, Smith pays a fast-break tribute to the pleasures and pains of b-ball, from being benched (" ‘Please Put Me In, Coach!!' "); to playing "Hot Like Fire," on the way to scoring 65 points; remembering "the time when my dad could no longer play one on one; or how a new kid, "Meek," proved himself on the court, once he was given a chance. Read full book review >