Nikki Giovanni is a poet who often seems impatient with words, but when she grabs hold (as happens here on page one with ""if i were a poet i'd kid/ nap you"") it's a rare kid, certainly a rare black kid, who could resist being picked right up. The poems selected here for younger people and illustrated by George Ford in bold semi-fantastic black and white are also her best known celebrations of black soul, black music and personal dreams, ""revolutionary"" and otherwise. While much of Spin a Soft Black Song, a collection written especially for children often seemed forced, older children will probably be the ideal audience for the sly, queenly procession of Ego Tripping (""I was born in the congo/ I walked to the fertile crescent and built the sphinx/ . . . I am bad""), the rhythmic ""Revolutionary Music"" which amplifies the message of Sly, Aretha and James Brown, or the quiet itchy frustration of ""i was/ lonely alone/ now i'm lonely/with you/ something is wrong/there ate flies/everywhere i go."" Upbeat, proud, and confident.