Hey You! C'mere!: A Poetry Slam

Hey You! C'mere!: A Poetry Slam

by Elizabeth Swados, Joe Cepeda
     
 

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Liz Swados sets the stage for a hilarious, cathartic poetry slam, with casting and sets by Joe Cepeda.

One summer morning in the sizzling city, seven kids gather on a street corner to share the power of poetry. As they move through the neighborhood, the kids transform their experiences -- standing up to a tough kid, slurping

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Overview

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Liz Swados sets the stage for a hilarious, cathartic poetry slam, with casting and sets by Joe Cepeda.

One summer morning in the sizzling city, seven kids gather on a street corner to share the power of poetry. As they move through the neighborhood, the kids transform their experiences -- standing up to a tough kid, slurping spaghetti and ice cream, a good "hiccup cough sniff" cry -- into a poetry slam celebrating the strength and energy of their own unique voices. Elizabeth Swado's wonderfully aural work is given visual dimension by Joe Cepeda's colorful, character-ful paintings. So come along and heed the call: Hey you! C'MERE!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Everyone's a poet, according to this exhortative poetry-reading and street-theater combo: "You've got a poem in your pocket, A poem on your tongue, did you know that? You can be the poet and you can be the poem too. Yesssss!" To prove it, seven young poets roam their city block on a summer day, using ordinary situations as material for syncopated storytelling. The players' portraits and names appear in the table of contents, so that each one is identifiable during their improv. Ratchit, a bold prankster, repeats a tough kid's threat ("Hey you, c'mere, Whatsa matter witcha"), while his friend Jacob describes a timid reaction to bullying in "A Good Cry." Mattie mimics her mother's phone voice "Yeah, uh huh, uh huh" in a song. While Doria creates a nonsense riff on "Silly Names" ("Mr. Grub T. Mudstuck, Diane Doobey Doo, Fineas Figmuff and Tina Tutoo..."), Ratchit sneaks off to play a joke on the group; after his ghostly noises inspire his friends' frightened poem, "Monsters," Ratchit laughs, then composes a reiterative "Sorry." Swados, author of the musical play Runaways, crafts an upbeat series of poems and dramatic asides. Using a crackling-hot palette of orange, summer green and blue-violet, Cepeda (What a Truly Cool World) limns a vibrant cityscape and brings out the strong personalities of the multiracial group. The slangy words and upbeat visuals suggest that poetry happens in casual conversation and friendship; readers might want to try this "slam" as a real play or spin some verse of their own. Ages 6-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
"Banging on a garbage can, Bam bam bam./ Mattie say it's time/ For a poetry slam." Seven city kids, in different voices, romp and roll and let their feeling soar as they go about their daily activities. From slurping spaghetti to licking ice cream we get a taste of their day. From smoochy kisses of Evelyn's to Great Gramma's personality we touch their lives. Rollicking with a be-bop beat and loaded with onomatopoeia, these poems are fun to read aloud. " Stepping on a melted candy bar,/ Squish/ Crunch, crunch/ Gravel on the street,/ Whoosh/ Hydrant waterfall..." paints a scene of summer. Most verses are joyous, but others address the fearful subjects of storms and monsters. Vibrant child-like oil paintings spill over the poems and make you want to join the fun! 2002, Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Laura Hummel AGES: 8 9 10 11 12
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Swados's theatrical flair and storytelling skills are evident in this collection of free-verse, rap-style poems. A cast of kids is pictured on the contents page, and introduced right off the bat: "And Jacob rides a poem on the sidewalk/While Doria pours poems out of a pitcher./Ratchit throws a poem at your back, ouch!/It's poem time, you have poems circling around your head,/You've got a poem in your pocket,/A poem on your tongue, did you know that?" The selections explore the urban setting, the dynamics of group friendships, and the awkwardness and joys of being a kid. Not all the poems hit their mark ("Telephone," for instance, presupposes that the youngsters have never talked on the phone before) and the focus of the collection occasionally wanders. Cepeda's engaging, cartoon-style oil paintings suffuse the pages with thick and vibrant color, and match the exuberant and usually goofy mood of the selections. The kids have lines that lead from poem to poem, tracing a thin narrative that ties the book together nicely. Libraries that own Nikki Grimes's Meet Danitra Brown (Lothrop, 1994) or Tony Medina's DeShawn Days (Lee & Low, 2001) will find that this one extends their collection, with its immediately appealing look and upbeat tone that will encourage children to talk poetry.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a burnished urban landscape full of the colors of summer, a group of youngsters gather. "Sis is eatin' poems! / Josh is drinkin' poems! / Amelia's wearin' poems on her feet! / . . . You've got a poem in your pocket, / A poem on your tongue, did you know that?" Their poetry slam takes them past "Tough Kids," what "A Good Cry" feels like, how fast "Summer" goes. Adults come in for some clear-eyed razzing: "Aunt Evelyn," who huggles and nuzzles and kootchie-koos "till you shriek"; "Great Granma," who's a little deaf, and "Mr. Befuddled," Mattie's Uncle Lester. The poems have bounce and pop and innocence, and would perform well for a group in readers' theater or on stage. Cepeda, who did the truly cool illustrations for Julius Lester's What a Truly Cool World (1999), matches playwright Swados's exuberance with vibrating backgrounds of orange or green or turquoise. Thick impasto colors and geometric forms take kinetic shape as the cast of characters, their props (don't miss the multilayered ice cream cones), and the architecture of fire escapes and sidewalks take the stage. (Poetry. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439092579
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.74(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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