FOR A GIRL BECOMING by Harjo

FOR A GIRL BECOMING

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mvskoke/Creek poet Harjo celebrates the birth of a baby girl and offers guidance for a good life. Images spring from inspirations both natural—“Clouds peered over the mountains / in response to the singing of medicine plants”—and mechanical—“From your mother’s house we brought poetry, music … and a yard filled with junked cars and the gift of knowing how to make them run.” Advice ranges from the ethereal—“When you walk, remember the source of the gift of all walking”—to the practical—“Clean your room.” McDonald’s jewel-toned paintings (worked on wood panel in watercolor and pastel) swirl with color and play with imagery, effectively matching the poem’s tone but often only incompletely illustrating it: Framed in the outline of a crested bird, a sad young woman gazes out, with the silhouettes of branches and raindrops superimposed against a city at night; the text reads, in part, “There are treacherous places along the way, but you can come to us.” Visually and verbally lovely, if resolutely abstract—a picture book for teens, not young children. (Picture book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8165-2797-7
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: Univ. of Arizona
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2009