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I Am the Wind: Irish Poems for Children Everywhere

Little Island. Apr. 2024. 128p. ed. by Lucinda Jacob & Sarah Webb, eds. Tr $29.99. ISBN 9781915071095.
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Gr. 3 Up–A comprehensive survey of Irish poetry specifically for children. More than 85 poems include classics by the masters, including W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Pádraic Colum, and Oscar Wilde, as well as poems by newer and lesser-known poets. There is a humorous poem by Spike Milligan, a cuddly poem titled “Puppy Love,” and even a few poems in Gaelic presented side-by-side with an English translation. The introduction notes that poetry leads to “worlds of magic and adventure.” In the first poem, E.R. Murray writes, “This poem can . . ./ Open magical doorways.” It can “launch rockets to the moon,” and “light a candle in the dark.” The final line, “Let the journey begin,” is an invitation to this collection. The poems embrace many themes and range from descriptive to humorous, thought-provoking, and more. Chacko has created vibrant, whimsical illustrations that complement the poetry beautifully and add to the overall enjoyment. The editors have also designed an “I Am the Wind Poetry Kit” that readers can downloaded for free at littleisland.ie. This kit uses the poems in this book to encourage young writers and will be welcomed by teachers and librarians. There is no index. Overall, this is a robust collection of poems that invites reading, re-reading, and sharing.
VERDICT Highly recommended. This delightful collection of Irish poetry for children, which includes some familiar poems and others new to discover, will appeal to young and old alike and is perfect for reading aloud. A welcome addition to all classroom and library collections.

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