Gleefully distinctive stylings, fluorescent colors, and beautiful bookmaking should make an eager new audience for these old...

BEASTLY VERSE

Using just three impossibly bright colors, printmaker Yoon illustrates a collection of animal-themed poems of varying familiarity.

There’s a nostalgic feel to the collection, as many poems date from the 19th century—William Blake’s “The Tiger,” Christina Rossetti’s “Caterpillar,” and Lewis Carroll’s “The Crocodile” among them—and none dates later than the mid-20th century. For all that they may be old, however, the poems have a real child friendliness, from the light verse of Ogden Nash (“The Eel”) and Hilaire Belloc (“The Yak”) to the weightier stanzas of D.H. Lawrence (“Humming-bird”) and Walter de la Mare (“Dream Song”). If the poetry delights, the prints dazzle. Layering cyan, magenta, and yellow—and eschewing black—Yoon produces crowded, eye-popping images that will draw children’s attention. There’s a studied, childlike crudeness to her stylings, full of scribbly lines and overlap, that yields great energy. Carolyn Wells’ “Happy Hyena,” its bright pink head wildly out of proportion to its body, wears a green jacket and a yellow waistcoat, playing the concertina as it walks through town. The book’s design offers further surprises. A pink telephone jangles imperiously in a seemingly empty room in Laura Richards’ “Eletelephony,” but a gatefold opens to show an enormous teal-and-purple elephant hopelessly entangled in the telephone’s cord.

Gleefully distinctive stylings, fluorescent colors, and beautiful bookmaking should make an eager new audience for these old poems. (Picture book/poetry. 4-10)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-59270-166-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared.

IMAGINE

Former Poet Laureate Herrera encourages his young readers to imagine all they might be in his new picture book.

Herrera’s free verse tells his own story, starting as a young boy who loves the plants and animals he finds outdoors in the California fields and is then thrust into the barren, concrete city. In the city he begins to learn to read and write, learning English and discovering a love for words and the way ink flows “like tiny rivers” across the page as he applies pen to paper. Words soon become sentences, poems, lyrics, and a means of escape. This love of the word ultimately leads him to make writing his vocation and to become the first Chicano Poet Laureate of the United States, an honor Herrera received in 2015. Through this story of hardship to success, expressed in a series of conditional statements that all begin “If I,” Herrera implores his readers to “imagine what you could do.” Castillo’s ink and foam monoprint illustrations are a tender accompaniment to Herrera’s verse, the black lines of her illustrations flowing across the page in rhythm with the author’s poetry. Together this makes for a charming read-aloud for groups or a child snuggled in a lap.

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared. (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9052-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

See, hear, touch, taste, smell...and imagine poetry all around you.

KIYOSHI'S WALK

A neighborhood walk unleashes the power of poetry.

Kiyoshi, a boy of Japanese heritage, watches his poet grandfather, Eto, write a poem in calligraphy. Intrigued, Kiyoshi asks, “Where do poems come from?” So begins a meditative walk through their bustling neighborhood, in which Kiyoshi discovers how to use his senses, his power of observation, and his imagination to build a poem. After each scene, Eto jots down a quick poem that serves as both a creative activity and an instruction for Kiyoshi. Eventually Kiyoshi discovers his own poetic voice, and together the boy and his grandfather find poems all around them. Spare, precise prose is coupled with the haiku Kiyoshi and his grandfather create, building the story through each new scene to expand Kiyoshi’s understanding of the origin of poems. Sensory language, such as flicked, whooshed, peeked, and reeled, not only builds readers’ vocabulary, but also models the vitality and precision of creative writing. The illustrations are just as thoughtfully crafted. Precisely rendered, the artwork is soft, warm, and captivating, offering vastly different perspectives and diverse characters who make up an apparently North American neighborhood that feels both familiar and new for a boy discovering how to view the world the way a poet does. Earth tones, coupled with bright yellows, pinks, and greens, draw readers in and encourage them to linger over each spread. An author’s note provides additional information about haiku.

See, hear, touch, taste, smell...and imagine poetry all around you. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62014-958-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more