Street Music: City Poems

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jessy Deutsch
"I was born in this city but I still look up at the magic." Such is the pleasure of the poet in buildings, parks, people, and pigeons; and the pain of outstretched homeless hands and neighborhood blocks caught in the crossfire of violence. Each page has the electric pulse of passion-hot and cold, steam and ice. Like tiny light bulbs flashing on and off across the cityscape, each poem tries on a different vantage point, a new apartment window or a shifted time of day, and street music requires that you move fast to keep the beat. This is a vivid marriage of language and art, and a collision of energies reflecting their subjects.
School Library Journal
Gr 3 UpFifteen poems in free verse celebrate the rhythm and diversity of city life, capturing its sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and seasons in arresting imagery. Tall buildings pushing through the clouds, a homeless woman with a ``stretching'' hand, the ever-present utility and maintenance crews digging and chopping beneath the streets, and ``...crowds of languages and clouds of steam from carts of cooking foods'' all reflect the many facets of an urban environmentits action, pulsing rhythms, and multiethnicity. Two-page spreads in hot colors provide a vibrant background for Barbour's numerous, lively sketches that accompany each selection. Varied perspectives, from that of small dog amidst a tangle of legs, a person lying down on the sidewalk or looking at shifting scenes from a bus window, to an overview of a crowded intersection offer multilayered vignettes. An exciting, accessible collection.Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY
Carolyn Phelan
Adoff's poetry celebrates the city the way a child experiences it, primarily through the senses. Garbage trucks clang and crash, cold water gushes from a hydrant, and taxi horns, subway trains, and engines provide the street music of the book's title. Buildings push through clouds in the sky, while on the ground, some empty crack vials lie in the grass at the park. In short, these 14 poems portray the city not as an idealized metropolis, but as a diverse mixture of sights, sounds, and feelings that most city children will recognize. Illustrating each poem on a double-page spread, Barbour's stylized paintings fill the pages with hot colors and simplified images. They help make this book an attractive addition to poetry collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060215224
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.89 (w) x 11.35 (h) x 0.47 (d)

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