Mr. Ferlinghetti's Poem

Mr. Ferlinghetti's Poem

by David Frampton, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
     
 

On a sweltering summer day in Brooklyn, the local firemen spray a group of bored city kids with cool water from their hoses. In the water-drenched moments that follow, the children make the most of this unexpected treat. Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poem comes alive with charming and exuberant woodcuts by David Frampton, creating an adventure that readers of all ages will… See more details below

Overview

On a sweltering summer day in Brooklyn, the local firemen spray a group of bored city kids with cool water from their hoses. In the water-drenched moments that follow, the children make the most of this unexpected treat. Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poem comes alive with charming and exuberant woodcuts by David Frampton, creating an adventure that readers of all ages will enjoy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Frampton (The Song of Francis and the Animals) handsomely illustrates a childhood memory recalled in a poem from Ferlinghetti's 1958 collection A Coney Island of the Mind. An awkward framing device introduces the poem ("Mr. Ferlinghetti remembers/ a long hot summer in/ Brooklyn/ when he was a kid./ .../ Sometimes Mr. Ferlinghetti/ writes a poem about the things/ he remembers"). But Frampton's stylized woodcuts, in an earth-toned palette, boldly contoured with thick black outlines, will likely charm readers. Ferlinghetti ruefully recounts a childhood summer day when the firemen turned on their hoses for "a couple dozen of us," or "maybe only six of us." Finally, owning up, he guesses that he and his friend Molly were "the only ones there." Frampton cheerfully depicts a thriving immigrant neighborhood, with a diverse array of kids jumping, dancing and splashing in curlicue waves. Period details-round-fendered cars, perambulators, a big old radio-augment the bygone-era feel. The lines "with the water squirting up/ to the/ sky" accompany a spread of kids reclining, arms behind heads, buoyed atop a veritable geyser. In another, a dog looks on as the young hero cavorts in his birthday suit. Children won't get Ferlinghetti's ennui-infused subtext, but perhaps the poet's ease in simultaneously evoking childlike and adult perspectives obviates any glitch. Frampton provides a few biographical details about the author in an endnote. A sweet slice of nostalgia, exuberantly served up. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Inspired by Ferlinghetti's poem, Frampton sets the scene by introducing the poet as a youth during a Brooklyn summer. Just a few words or sentences per double page leave ample room for Frampton's visualization of this time before the lines of the poem itself, "just the way he wrote it," are brought to life. The artist draws on his own memories to create full and double-page scenes bursting with the energy of youth. The black lines of his woodcuts encompass the urban colors: tan, muted greens, and oranges, with accents of white. Lots of curves generate the fire hose sprays and the children's spontaneous, joyous dancing. Even the firemen at their game of pinochle exude an air of motion. A note by the artist adds information on both the poet and the background.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Frampton's exuberant pictures match well with an equally vivacious poem. A few introductory pages set the scene, showing a bit of what life was like in New York City long ago, including such novelties as doctors making house calls and children lying on the floor listening to the radio. Then, a short poem by the beat icon Lawrence Ferlinghetti appears, an account of "that summer in Brooklyn/when they closed off the street/one hot day/and the/FIREMEN/turned on their hoses-." A joyous gathering then takes place, with kids running out and practically flying into the air on the cold streams of water. Or is the narrator's memory helped along by a healthy imagination? How many youngsters were really there? Did it just seem like a big party, or was it really just the one boy and his friend Molly sailing paper boats in the water that's spilled into the gutter? Frampton's signature woodcuts are wonderful, balancing cool and warm colors, and also managing to look both blocky and fluid at the same time. An artistic tribute by an obvious fan of the poet.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
On a long-ago, hot summer's day in Brooklyn, the firemen turn on their hoses in the middle of the street. The neighborhood kids run through the water, and, for a brief time, they are transported to a fresh cool place. But were there a couple of dozen kids, or six kids, or only Molly and the boy? Is Mr. Ferlinghetti's memory faulty, or is the whole incident a case of poetic license? Frampton's charming narration perfectly sets the stage for Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poem, "just the way he wrote it." Bold, strongly outlined woodcuts in shades of brown, gold and green are filled with joyful movement as the hoses carry the delighted children higher and higher until they nearly sail off the page. An artist's note provides a brief introduction and homage to Ferlinghetti. A work to savor again and again, finding new delights with each perusal. (Picture book. 5-10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802852908
Publisher:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/28/2006
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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