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Poems in Black and White

Overview

Can the world be seen in black and white? Perhaps. Newborn feet ink birth certificates. Father's stethoscope hangs from the lab coat in his closet. Border collies look at the world in plain darks and lights, never marveling at the wonders of rainbows. Kate Miller explores our world through verse in this collection, finding in blacks and whites some of the most colorful images of everyday life. Her simple, inviting monotype prints will attract even reluctant poetry readers.

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Overview

Can the world be seen in black and white? Perhaps. Newborn feet ink birth certificates. Father's stethoscope hangs from the lab coat in his closet. Border collies look at the world in plain darks and lights, never marveling at the wonders of rainbows. Kate Miller explores our world through verse in this collection, finding in blacks and whites some of the most colorful images of everyday life. Her simple, inviting monotype prints will attract even reluctant poetry readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Both the lyrical poems and artful monotypes in this handsomely designed volume explore images in black and white. A dandelion's "head is filled with/ winged seeds—her fluffy/ cloud-white dreams held/ back like eager children." The family dog hears the "scented sound/ of thieving paws" belonging to a raccoon with "white around/ [his] bandit eyes." Each poem is etched like frost on a windowpane, the images both precise and evocative. While the topics focus on objects and people familiar to a young audience, the tone, voice and vocabulary of the poems may be better suited to an older audience. Nostalgic entries celebrate a shock of white hair in a mother's ebony hair or the inked footprints of a newborn, "unique to you that/ mark you mine/ ten rounded toes/ like stepping stones/ left and right/ a perfect pair/ adventure bound." Nonetheless, the poems and intriguing illustrations are startling: on a black page, the white in the poem "Comet" takes the physical shape of a comet falling from the sky, while on the opposite page the illustration elegantly captures the image of "a swirling smudge/ of luminescent white/ .../ as if some/ impish thumb/ had smeared/ a star/ before/ the night/ had dried." These poems and illustrations illuminate simple moments—"snow-white blossoms" of popcorn escaping from a pot, a black cat basking near white lace curtains—with remarkable sensitivity and insight. Ages 6-up. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6 - Seventeen elegant poems are illustrated with accomplished black-and-white monotypes. Some of the loosely gathered subjects include the way a dog sees; a blackboard with white chalk; the contents of a doctor's lab coat (a black stethoscope and "a sprig of pussy willow"); and a car ride through a tunnel. Print and poem are equally meshed in "The Cow": A Holstein who is "strong enough/to carry continents/upon her back" lends a replica of her black continent from her back to the facing page for the poem in white type. Several of the selections in black print appear on a white page but others are reversed, with a black background and white letters. The poems are filled with a subtle music through the gentle use of poetic devices-rhyme, consonance, assonance. The unique sensibility of this artist/poet offers a sophisticated, reserved collection that children will appreciate for its difference.-Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590784129
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.28 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy is a preschool director and teacher in upstate New York for more than thirty years. She is the author of numerous craft books for children. She lives in Oneida, New York.

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Table of Contents


First Steps     7
Comet     8
Dad's Closet     10
A Fly in February     12
Miss Fitzgibbbon's Board     14
Curtain Call     16
Dandelion Dreams     18
Dog-Eyed     20
Popcorn     22
Almost Perfect     24
The Cow     26
My Mother's Hair     28
Raccoon in Winter     30
Bowling     32
King Crow     34
The Tunnel     36
Tic-Tac-Toe     38
About the Illustrations     40
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