Brothers and Sisters: Family Poems

Overview

Brothers and sisters can be dear, can be company, can bring cheer, can start arguments, can make noise, can cause tears, can break toys . . .

Brothers and brothers. Sisters and sisters. Brothers and sisters. Full, half, step, old and young, close in age and far apart. The bond between all siblings is powerful and special. Celebrate the love of brothers and sisters everywhere with award-winning author Eloise Greenfield in this poignant collection of poems for and about families, ...

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Overview

Brothers and sisters can be dear, can be company, can bring cheer, can start arguments, can make noise, can cause tears, can break toys . . .

Brothers and brothers. Sisters and sisters. Brothers and sisters. Full, half, step, old and young, close in age and far apart. The bond between all siblings is powerful and special. Celebrate the love of brothers and sisters everywhere with award-winning author Eloise Greenfield in this poignant collection of poems for and about families, illustrated by renowned artist Jan Spivey Gilchrist in pen and ink and vibrant watercolor.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
This collection of poems comes to us from the celebrated author of In the Land of Words and Big Friend, Little Friend. Greenfield captures the dynamics between siblings of a wide variety of ages in a diverse range of family situations. The book features as preface the title poem: "Helpful, funny, and good one day,/ next day, they get in my way./ Still, I think no matter what./ I'd rather have them/ than not." Subsequent poems are grouped into three sections: "Brothers," "Sisters," and "Brothers and Sisters." Greenfield's joy in wordplay shows: "We wrestle. We're rough./ We tangle. We're tough." Even though fractured relationships, talking mean, and being mad with dad figure in the mix, these are loving poems in all, celebrating the bonds that exist within families. "Last Laugh" is about a charmingly realistic practical joke gone awry. "Who is This Girl?" welcomes a new baby. "Grandma and Her Sisters" and "Family Room" both catch moments of recognition across generations. Family ties lie at the heart of this collection that employs both rhyming verse and unrhymed poetry. Jan Spivey Gilchrist's bright and lively pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations depict African-American families in numerous family contexts. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal

K-Gr 6

Greenfield's poetic observations and commentaries succinctly capture siblings at various ages and stages, from "My Little Brother" to "Grandma and Her Sisters." With only a few lines, the author grasps the love and admiration, the frustration and hurt, the fun and aggravation that they can engender. "Still, I think no matter what, I'd rather have them than not." The illustrator is equally as skillful in depicting the wide range of emotions and ages in the faces of the individual African Americans peopling the paintings. The realistic watercolors fit around and beside the poems, using the white space to highlight the art and give balance to the pages. This book needs to be shared in classrooms, in storytimes, and especially within families.-Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

Kirkus Reviews
"She likes chess, and I like sports, / she likes jeans, and I like shorts, / but on two things we do agree, / both of us like her / and me." Opening with a bout of brotherly "Wrestling" that ends when "he lets me win," closing with "Three On A Plane" playing word games and guessing at cloud shapes before drifting off to sleep together, and in between avowing affection for new or little siblings, firm friendships and strong family ties, Greenfield's 24 new poems accentuate the positive in sibling relationships. Reflecting the poetry's upbeat tone and simply expressed emotions, Gilchrist's African-American children and adults pose close to each other in sketchy settings, generally bearing happy or loving expressions-or, at worst, a mild pout. A feel-good collection, equally suited to reading alone or aloud, but it won't provide the nuance children prickled by those close relationships often need. (Poetry. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060562847
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/23/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 387,477
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Eloise Greenfield is the author of an illustrious list of books for young people, including The Friendly Four, a Texas 2x2 Reading List book; In the Land of Words, an NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts; and How They Got Over: African Americans and the Call of the Sea, winner of a Bank Street Children's Book Award—all illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. She is a recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award; the Coretta Scott King Author Award; the Award of Excellence from the Washington, D.C., branch of the National Writing Project; the Milner Award; the Hope S. Dean Award from the Foundation for Children's Literature; and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Ms. Greenfield lives in Washington, D.C.

Jan Spivey Gilchrist illustrated the Coretta Scott King Award Book Nathaniel Talking, the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Night on Neighborhood Street, and Me & Neesie, all written by Eloise Greenfield. She wrote and co-illustrated My America with Ashley Bryan, which was named a Parents' Choice Recommended Award winner. An inductee into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, Ms. Gilchrist received an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College and a doctoral degree in English from Madison University. She lives near Chicago, Illinois.

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