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THE SUN IN ME by Judith Nicholls


Poems About the Planet

by Judith Nicholls, illustrated by Beth Krommes

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 1-84148-058-4
Publisher: Barefoot

A wide-ranging poetry collection covers sea, sun, sky, and earth illuminated by stunning illustrations. Nicholls has ranged far in her choice of poets, too, choosing John Updike and Charlotte Zolotow along with Issa and Buson. There’s a traditional Albanian riddle and a handful of translations. Most of the poems are quite short and none are longer than a page. Readers will find Emily Dickinson on snow and “The Juggler of Day”; there is Rabindranath Tagore in an excerpt from “Stray Birds.” Sappho’s “Evening Star! You bring back / All that the bright dawn scattered” faces a Pasamaquoddy Indian song: “We are the stars which sing. / We sing with our light.” The illustrations are gorgeous—Krommes (The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish, 2001, etc.) sketches her images on scratchboard, photocopies the result, then fills in the copies with watercolor. The result is a brilliant use of pattern and placement in space along with color that leaps from the page. The pictures are full of the flora and fauna of the natural world, but almost every scene also has a person, so readers and listeners can see their place in the sun. An unnecessary introduction is a bit overlong—these poems speak for themselves and their message is clear: we are indeed of the earth. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)