Where I Live: Poems About My Home, My Street, and My Town

Candlewick. Mar. 2023. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781536200942.
Gr 1-3–This posthumous compilation selected by distinguished anthologist Janeczko beautifully captures the essence of home; Yum’s art enhances this, centering each poem firmly into diverse communities. Thirty-four poems are divided into three sections: Home, Street, and Town. The section titles seem arbitrary at first, although the delightful variance in styles and rhythms is exciting. For example, “Crickets,” a concrete poem by Myra Cohn Livingston, appears in Home, as the crickets’ hypnotic chirps through the night interrupt or sing one to sleep. “Ode to My Shoes” by Francisco X. Alarcón has shoes “fall asleep/ and dream/ of walking,” in Street, relaxing so they’re fresh for the new day. Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Linda Sue Park, Gary Soto, and Naomi Shihab Nye are a few of the authors included, each of their poems dazzling with literary devices, figurative language, and exquisite word choices. Yum’s trademark colored pencil and watercolor illustrations are full spread. Graphic placement is well done, allowing Yum’s art to cradle each piece. People and places are diverse in artistic expression, allowing readers to recognize themselves in different poems and increasing understanding for different situations. Janeczko selected poems about nature, safe spaces, siblings, shopping, pets, ice cream, transportation, and being the new kid: all the mundane, yet essential, things that remind people of what home is.
VERDICT A first purchase for all libraries serving young children, this is an outstanding poetry compilation about the meaning of home.

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