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From a Child's Heart

From a Child's Heart

by Nikki Grimes, Brenda Joysmith (Illustrator)

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Thirteen poem-prayers the author might have prayed as a child, expressing the hopes, fears, longings and ordinary, everyday concerns touching a child's life.


Thirteen poem-prayers the author might have prayed as a child, expressing the hopes, fears, longings and ordinary, everyday concerns touching a child's life.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFaye
I have long admired Joysmith's touching portrayals of daily African American life. Here her drawings beautifully complement the poetry of Grimes. The poems touch on various subjects through poetic prayer. Exploring friendship, large families, fear of parental fighting, homework and many other child-centered subjects, the poems take a compelling look at the world through a child's eyes. Often overly sentimental, the poems do touch on issues that are of concern and interest to young children.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2 Up-Grimes has composed prayerful verses to give voice to the subjects in pastel drawings (done between 1985- 1992) by the African-American artist Brenda Joysmith, who paints a pretty world of healthy and well-groomed children. Youngsters are shown nestled close to their parents, bending their heads together with playmates, and lost in comtemplation or daydreaming. Grimes's prayers, on the other hand, express yearning (in direct dialogues with God) for more time with a single mother, any friend in a new neighborhood, work for a laid-off father, parents who do not fight, or a longer life for a grandmother. The situations are common enough, but here their poetic voices seem false and not well matched to the art. An earnest religious sensibility pervades. There Was a Place (McElderry, 1988) by Myra Cohn Livingston does a better job of evoking the feelings of children in painful family situations, while And God Bless Me, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Knopf, 1982), offers poems of gratitude. Walter Dean Myers's Brown Angels (1993), Ashley Bryan's Sing to the Sun (both HarperCollins, 1992), Eloise Greenfield's Honey, I Love (Crowell, 1978), and Grimes's own Something On My Mind (Dial, 1986) are all full of vibrant, truthful, and accessible poems about the experiences of African Americans and all young people.-Meg Stackpole, Rye Free Reading Room, NY

Product Details

Just Us Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Professor of Education Arizona State University Dr. David Moore taught high school social students and reading in Arizona public schools before entering college teaching. He currently teaches secondary school teacher preparation courses in adolescent literacy. He co-chaired the International Reading Association's Commission on Adolescent Literacy and is actively involved with several professional associations. His twenty-five year publication record balances research reports, professional articles, book chapters, and books.

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