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HIP HOP SPEAKS TO CHILDREN by Nikki Giovanni

HIP HOP SPEAKS TO CHILDREN

A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat

By Nikki Giovanni (Editor) , Kristen Balouch (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4022-1048-8
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

The subtitle is more descriptive of the content of this engaging book than the title. There is a wealth of material, ranging from classic poems by Langston Hughes (several of them read by Hughes on the accompanying CD), Lucille Clifton, Eloise Greenfield, Maya Angelou, Walter Dean Myers, Jacqueline Woodson and others, to modern hip-hop and rap. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is also included, both in the book and on the CD, with a performance in response by Giovanni and two of the advisory editors. Hope Anita Smith’s recitation of her “Audition” is quiet and hauntingly beautiful. All of the poems emphasize the beat and draw on African-American tradition; they are richly and effectively illustrated by a corps of young illustrators whose biographical sketches are appended. Listening to the CD completes the experience. The variety of poetic forms and performance styles (sometimes elucidated on the CD, as well is in Giovanni’s introduction) makes this collection an excellent source of material not found together elsewhere. (Poetry anthology. 7-12)