STEP LIGHTLY

POEMS FOR THE JOURNEY

paper 0-15-202052-7 According to the introduction, this gathering of poetry from Europe and the Americas began as clippings in a shoebox, collected over years by Willard (Magic Cornfield, 1997, etc). The selections are meaty, with D.H. Lawrence’s three-line “The White Horse” and Robert Frost’s deliciously eerie, six-page dialogue, “The Witch of Coîs,” at the extremes for length, and make an eclectic mix, leaning toward newer poets but including a Mother Goose rhyme, Christopher Smart’s “For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry,” and “Donal Og,” a traditional lament for love betrayed. The arrangement is, broadly, by subject, beginning with Emily Dickinson’s “Will There Really Be a ‘Morning’?” and closing with poems featuring night, death, and dreams. Selections in between touch on wind and water, sensory epiphanies (Pablo Neruda sings an “Ode to a Pair of Socks” while Theodore Roethke’s “Slug” is about stepping on one), animals, children, old folk, and even bodies, as in Lucille Clifton’s “Homage to My Hips.” Few of the poems were written specifically for an audience of the young, but those who aren’t thrown by e.e. cummings’s “If there are any heavens my mother will (all by herself) have” should comprehend the syntax and content of the rest. It’s a highly personal collection, chosen with a fine ear for language and rightfully commended by Willard for “celebrating the ordinary in an unordinary way.” (Poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-15-201849-2

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1998

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JAM!

THE STORY OF JAZZ MUSIC

A busy page design—artily superimposed text and photos, tinted portraits, and break-out boxes—and occasionally infelicitous writing (“Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie became . . . bandleader of the quintet at the Onyx Club, from which bebop got its name”) give this quick history of jazz a slapdash air, but Lee delves relatively deeply into the music’s direct and indirect African roots, then goes beyond the usual tedious tally of names to present a coherent picture of specific influences and innovations associated with the biggest names in jazz. A highly selective discography will give readers who want to become listeners a jump start; those seeking more background will want to follow this up with James Lincoln Collier’s Jazz (1997). (glossary, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8239-1852-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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AMERICANS WHO TELL THE TRUTH

In tribute to this country’s proud tradition of protest, fine artist Shetterly has chosen 50 Americans who have stood up for what he calls “the promise of America,” presenting them in a series of accurately painted head-and-shoulder portraits with their names and a pithy quote scratched in. His selections, equally divided between men and women, range from such usual suspects as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to the less-familiar likes of child peace activist Samantha Smith, political columnist Molly Ivins, authors Frances Moore Lappé (Diet for a Small Planet) and Jonathan Kozol, plus controversial figures such as Emma Goldman and Dwight Eisenhower. The telling quotes are reprinted in the margins to make them more legible. Opening with an eloquent general statement of purpose, and closing with biographical comments on each entry, this gallery of writers, politicians, rabble-rousers, troublemakers, scientists, celebrities and activists will have a stirring cumulative effect, even on children unacquainted with many of their causes or accomplishments. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-525-47429-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2005

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