June 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

In the Past by David Elliott | SLJ Review

Gr 1-3 –Softly detailed watercolors accompany poems about early life-forms in this moving examination of prehistoric Earth.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina | SLJ Review

Gr 2-5 –Medina combines the tanka form with the illustrious talents of 13 artists to produce a resplendent collection of poetry dedicated to black and brown children.

Thank You, Earth by April Pulley Sayre | SLJ Review

K-Gr 4 –Photographs of the natural world accompany a poem that gives thanks to the earth.

Seeing Into Tomorrow by Richard Wright & Nina Crews | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –This book collects 12 of Wright’s outstanding haiku, written 50 years ago and still available in the anthology, Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon.

Martin Rising by Andrea Davis Pinkney | SLJ Review

Gr 4 Up –A powerful celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., set against the last few months of his life and written in verse.

Agua, Agüita/Water, Little Water by Jorge Tetl Argueta | SLJ Review

PreS-Gr 2 –This poem, set in the first person, explores the water cycle from the perspective of “Agüita” or “Little Water,” the preferred nickname of water.

Dream March by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson | SLJ Review

NELSON, Vaunda Micheaux. Dream March: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March on Washington. illus. by Sally Wern Comport. 48p. (Step into Reading: Step 3). Random. Dec. 2017. lib. ed. $12.99. ISBN 9781101936702; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781101936696. POP

K-Gr 3 –The narrative opens with Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, then traces the March on Washington back to the 1950s and 60s when “black Americans organized and fought extra hard. Their fight was called the civil rights movement.” Early protests […]

Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins | SLJ Review

PERKINS, Useni Eugene. Hey Black Child. illus. by Bryan Collier. 40p. Little, Brown. Nov. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316360302.

PreS-Gr 3 –Collier’s characteristic watercolor-and-collage masterpieces bring joy and gravity to Perkins’s inspirational poem. With a compelling rhythm that begs for recitation, the verse (often misattributed to Countee Cullen) celebrates the power and potential of black children. The illustrations pair young black faces with visions of their successful futures as astronauts, artists, politicians, and more and feature some of the artist’s favorite motifs, including […]

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads by Hope Anita Smith | SLJ Review

SMITH, Hope Anita. My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads. illus. by Hope Anita Smith. 32p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805091892.

PreS-Gr 3 –Dedicated to “every man ‘fathering’ a child,” this volume spotlights the bond between dads and their kids. Written in a child’s voice, the poems depict dads snoring, making breakfast, giving a haircut or guitar lesson, wrestling, playing catch, teaching a child to ride a bike, and reading. “Love Letter” is about […]

Eco-conscious Poetry Books for Earth Day

Just in time for April, here are two titles that are perfect for both National Poetry Month and Earth Day–related lessons.

Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market by Michelle Schaub | SLJ Review

SCHAUB, Michelle. Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market. illus. by Amy Huntington. 32p. Charlesbridge. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781580895477.

Gr 3-5 –A multiethnic crowd of people saunter through a farmers’ market, investigating produce, accompanied by cheerful poetry. Does the “smell of a melon give clues you can use”? Are free-range eggs truly “eggs-traordinary,” and is honey really “liquid-gold alchemy”? Along with this delectable sampling of sweet corn and the search for gooseberries are a list of […]