Hope Is the Thing with Feathers

Paw Prints. (Picture-a-Poem). Mar. 2024. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781223188164.
Gr 1-5–Unlike humor poets Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, who have wide appeal to the school-age set, romantic poetry can be tricky for young readers who prefer a tidy narrative. Dickinson’s “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers” offers a just-right sojourn for children into the metaphoric language of poetry. Its subject has a modern-day relevance that will inspire engaging discourse, both in classrooms and at home. Hopgood’s interpretations of the classic poem provide consistent visual mooring for Dickinson’s text, depicting the resilience of hope in the form of a songbird whose song survives the many obstacles life puts in the way. In Dickinson’s parting stanza, “Yet - never - in Extremity, It asked a crumb - of me,” provides a fruitful opportunity for meaningful exchange between little ones and their grown-ups.
VERDICT A fine foray into canonical poetry for young learners.

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