COME WITH ME by Naomi Shihab Nye

COME WITH ME

Poems for a Journey
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of 16 poems, in picture-book format, by the well-respected poet and anthologist examines the journey in its broadest form—the outward, the inner, the metaphorical, as well as journeys in time and space. The poems vary in their accessibility and the addition of one of Nye’s memorable Forwards might have brought clarity to a group of poems that are intrinsically elusive (The Space Between Our Footsteps, 1998, etc.). Many are abstract and mysterious, full of subtle, teasing ideas to turn over in the mind. Pondering and reflecting are invited and required. One of the most accessible and successful is “Mad,” which fixes on the universal tension in the mother-daughter relationship, beginning: “I got mad at my mother / so I flew to the moon,” and ends “My mother sent up a silver thread / for me to slide down on. / She knows me so well. / She knows I like silver.” Although the poems are somewhat somber in tone, they are filled with a calm strength and a quiet sense of wonder when read aloud. Reading aloud also underscores the ineluctability of each perfectly chosen word. The small detail of page numbers placed on small torn pieces of map and the art’s strong linearity are appropriate to the journey theme. However, the collage and mixed-media illustrations fail to extend the text and threaten to overwhelm the delicate mood set by the quiet words and insinuated ideas. The saturated palette, strong line showing hasty brush strokes and the bold composition seem at odds with the poet’s rather pensive intent. But when Nye issues an invitation, “Come with me / To the quiet between two noisy minutes . . .” it is always worth the trip. (Nonfiction/Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 2000
ISBN: 0-688-15946-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000




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