Knoxville, Tennessee

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Giovanni's brief poem about summertime in the rural South makes for a sunny picture book. An African American girl moves like a gentle breeze through Johnson's lush and warmly lit oil paintings as she describes and partakes of such seasonal fare as fresh sweet corn, homemade ice cream and ``lots of barbecue and buttermilk.'' The very short text here forces a reliance on mood and tone, with great success. The renowned poet's vivid writing features a graceful use of universal images and emotions that may stir the reader's memories. Johnson's artwork extends Giovanni's words, depicting verdant fields in crisp contrast to white houses and dresses. A church picnic never looked so tasty. All ages. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Opulent double-spread paintings provide a bold setting for a simple poem. Giovanni remembers a Knoxville, Tennessee summer in all its touching, tasty, feel-good glory as she tells of a young black girl eating produce fresh from her daddy's garden, listening to the church choir, and spending loving time with her grandma. Many of Johnson's illustrations have the soft-focus blur of distant memory-memories that are perhaps most powerful for members of this Tennessee community, but the pure pleasures of family, neighbors, and summer have universal appeal. Though some children may be less familiar with okra and buttermilk, they're sure to relate to the ice cream, bare feet, and a grandmother's hugs. A good choice for bedtime or gentle sharing, this book could also prove useful in a variety of educational settings.-Jody McCoy, Casady School, Oklahoma City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590470742
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/1994
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.28 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Nikki Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni

Poet, activist, mother, and professor, Nikki Giovanni is a three-time NAACP Image Award winner and the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award, and holds the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry. The author of twenty-seven books and a Grammy nominee for The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, she is the University Distinguished Professor/English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and an Oprah Living Legend.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Nikki Giovanni's poem, Knoxville, Tennessee is one of the state

    Nikki Giovanni's poem, Knoxville, Tennessee is one of the state of Massachusetts exemplar texts for grade 2.  I recently had my 2nd grade students memorize this poem for a school "Poetry Cafe." Their enthusiasm and recitation were amazing.  They memorized the poem with heart and soul in a few days. They illustrated the poem on a class mural for the poetry celebration and their imagery of the words they read were evident on the mural. It was several days later that I let them see the illustrated book and showed them how accurate they were.  I strongly recommend this poem as a way to teach about the use of the senses in writing and about good old-fashioned summer days.       

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