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Give Me Wings

Give Me Wings

by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Ponder Goembel (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In this series of poems about wings and flight, with offerings from Langston Hughes, W.H. Auden, April Halprin Wayland, and others, readers can embark on a journey through the skies. The verses connect humans' fascination with flight with the power of dreams ("Out of the dust of dreams/ fairies weave their garments," writes Hughes), music (says Leslie Danford Perkins, "A hundred voices sing/ wings grow stronger"), and imagination. Paired with Goembel's depictions of often-winged children borne aloft, sometimes tentatively, sometimes with confidence and exuberance, the poems create a contemplative tribute to flight. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Nancy Baumann
Thirteen poems are presented using flying and wings as themes for the freedom to dream, to wonder, to sing, and to laugh. Children will want to soar and whoosh while hearing these imaginative verses read aloud. The poems are brief yet demand creative thought from the listener. The language used in the poems is rich for beginning readers and writers. All of the poems display common childhood experiences such as watching birds migrate, singing in a group, and dreaming of flying. Each verse is accompanied by a lovely double-page illustration using colored-ink lines with an acrylic wash. Most of the illustrations feature a single child dreaming, flying or wearing wings. The poem, "Fairies" by Langston Hughes, is beautifully paired with a vivid illustration of sprites sporting rainbow wings. The selection of poems comes from a diverse group of poets and would be a welcome addition to a science and poetry study for young children or story hour. Reviewer: Nancy Baumann
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Thirteen poems explore multiple ways to fly—mentally, physically, musically, and more. Drawings done in colored ink line with acrylic wash quietly illustrate each poem on a spread and a few soar off the page. Back matter includes small biographical paragraphs about each of the featured poets. The copyright page has information about original sources for the poetry. The noteworthy aspect of this volume is that it features an array of styles and approaches by a diverse group of poets.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews - Kirkus Reviews

A nicely grounded selection of 13 brief poems addresses the idea of winged flight as well as levitation through dreams, memory, longing and music, and in its range of voices and styles it offers a number of possibilities for eluding gravity. Poets included range from Prince Redcloud, Auden and Hughes--and Mother Goose--to well-known contemporary children's poets. The picture-book format invites reading aloud and one-on-one conversation about the poems—does the narrator really fly in this one? how could this other one take flight? Solid-looking children sprout ethereal wings or float above the ground; a housecat swings on a flying trapeze as the mice look on encouragingly; a man on a winged bicycle pedals the air over vast empty hills, a city skyline far distant. Goembel captures a sense of the abstract in each double-page ink-and-acrylic scene—in some flight is implied, while in others it looks quite literal. There's plenty to come back to in each opening, with each seemingly simple poem expanded by the art. (Picture book/poetry. 4-7)

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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