Neighborhood Odes

Neighborhood Odes

by Gary Soto, David Diaz
     
 

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This is a collection of 21 poems about growing up in a Hispanic neighborhood, highlighting the delights in such everyday items as sprinklers, the park, the library, and pomegranates.See more details below

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Overview

This is a collection of 21 poems about growing up in a Hispanic neighborhood, highlighting the delights in such everyday items as sprinklers, the park, the library, and pomegranates.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Hispanic neighborhood in Soto's 21 poems is brought sharply into focus by the care with which he records images of everyday life: the music of an ice cream vendor's truck, the top of a refrigerator where old bread lies in plastic, dust released into the air when a boy strums a guitar. The diverse voices include that of a 12-year-old girl ``with hair that sings / like jump ropes'' and a fourth-grade boy whose new teeth create the ``racket / Of chicharron / Being devoured . . . .'' The vocabulary sprinkled with Spanish (there is a glossary at the back of the book) remains consistent, as does the form of the poems, which fall in long vertical columns with short lines. The tight clumps of language reproduce the quality of rapid and playful conversation. Affectionate without being overly sentimental, the collection provides a good introduction to contemporary poetry as well as a fine homage to a Chicano community. Diaz's woodcuts complement the poems perfectly: the silhouettes are fanciful and dynamic but do not draw attention from the words on the page. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Neighborhood Odes is a collection of Gary Soto's down-to-earth poems about life in his Mexican-American neighborhood. Sans Spanish words, they could be about kids in any neighborhood. Mr. Soto helps us see the common, ordinary things we take for granted: "tennis shoes... / twin pets / That snuggle his toes..." or a sprinkler that takes the place of a swimming pool, "The Helicopter / Of water / Slicing our legs..." You want to bite into the freshly cooked tortilla rolled like a flute and spread with "a ribbon of yellow butter" These poems have a staccato beat, the way kids might talk when they're in a hurry. A glossary of Spanish words and phrases is included in the back. Black-and-white illustrations are by David Diaz.
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Exuberant language and strong rhythms combine with striking cut-paper images to create a joyous tribute to tennis shoes, "mi gato" and other fun stuff.
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-- The rewards of well-chosen words that create vivid, sensitive images await readers of this collection of poems. Through Soto's keen eyes, they see, and will be convinced, that there is poetry in everything. The odes celebrate weddings, the anticipation of fireworks, pets, grandparents, tortillas, and the library. Although Soto is dealing with a Chicano neighborhood, the poetry has a universal appeal. A minor drawback is that the Spanish words are not translated on the page, but in a glossary; to consult it interrupts the reading. Still, children will surely recognize the joy, love, fear, excitement, and adventure Soto brings to life. It is the same sensitivity and clarity found in Baseball in April (HBJ, 1990), his collection of short stories. Black-and-white illustrations blend well with the astute verbal imagery. Each selection is an expression of joy and wonder at life's daily pleasures and mysteries. --Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
From the Publisher

"With humor, sensitivity, and insight, Soto explores the lives of children . . . David Diaz's contemporary black-and-white illustrations . . . effortlessly capture the varied moods . . . of this remarkable collection."--The Horn Book

"Through Soto's keen eyes, [readers] see, and will be convinced, that there is poetry in everything . . . An expression of joy and wonder at life's daily pleasures and mysteries."
--School Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756950613
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
08/15/1994
Pages:
68
Sales rank:
909,138
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"With humor, sensitivity, and insight, Soto explores the lives of children . . . David Diaz's contemporary black-and-white illustrations . . . effortlessly capture the varied moods . . . of this remarkable collection."—The Horn Book

"Through Soto's keen eyes, [readers] see, and will be convinced, that there is poetry in everything . . . An expression of joy and wonder at life's daily pleasures and mysteries."
School Library Journal

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