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GIVE ME WINGS by Lee Bennett Hopkins


edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Ponder Goembel

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2023-0
Publisher: Holiday House

A nicely grounded selection of 13 brief poems addresses the idea of winged flight as well as levitation through dreams, memory, longing and music, and in its range of voices and styles it offers a number of possibilities for eluding gravity. Poets included range from Prince Redcloud, Auden and Hughes--and Mother Goose--to well-known contemporary children's poets. The picture-book format invites reading aloud and one-on-one conversation about the poems—does the narrator really fly in this one? how could this other one take flight? Solid-looking children sprout ethereal wings or float above the ground; a housecat swings on a flying trapeze as the mice look on encouragingly; a man on a winged bicycle pedals the air over vast empty hills, a city skyline far distant. Goembel captures a sense of the abstract in each double-page ink-and-acrylic scene—in some flight is implied, while in others it looks quite literal. There’s plenty to come back to in each opening, with each seemingly simple poem expanded by the art. (Picture book/poetry. 4-7)