From the Publisher
"This Is A Poem That Heals Fish is a rare little miracle of a book. It manages the brilliant trick of explaining the abstract concept of a 'poem' to a child through the simple but effective art of demonstration. The book itself is a perfectly constructed poem."- posterband.com
"Exuding magic and unbridled creativity on every page, this is a book with the potential to heal more than just fish." - Publishers Weekly
"An enchantingly abstract invitation to ponder poetry." - Kirkus Reviews
“A great book for any age! At this very moment, it feels like one of the best books I’ve ever bought!” A Year of Reading
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) was one of the great poets of the Russian Revolution and, along with Lorca and Apollinaire, one of the great poetic idols of the 20th century. Here, filmmaker Almereyda presents all of Mayakovsky's great poems (e.g., "A Cloud in Pants," "Screaming My Head Off," "Getting Along with Horses") alongside excerpts from his memoir (I, Myself), artistic appreciations, and eyewitness accounts that together offer insight into the poet's art and life. The translations-by a new generation of Russian American poets-are consistently wonderful. Rachel Cohen's essay concisely and brilliantly describes the Futurists, the Formalists, the Acmeists, and the Symbolists-all artistic groups surrounding Mayakovsky. The book further explores Mayakovsky's relationships with Lili Brik and Tatiana Yakovleva, explains his propaganda work, and addresses his mixture of the surreal, the lyric, and the sarcastic; the text is generously illustrated with photographs of Mayakovsky's friends and contemporaries and artworks of the times. Encompassing the excitement and glory of the revolution's generation, this is an important addition to literature collections.
French poet Siméon doesn't explain what poetry is: he portrays a poem in the making. Arthur's fish, Leon, languishes in his bowl. "Hurry," his mother says, sailing off to her tuba lesson, "give him a poem!" But Arthur doesn't know what a poem is, so he asks a charming collection of eccentric neighbors, each painted by Tallec in delicate pencil lines and wet strokes of vibrant color. "A poem, Arthur, is when you are in love and have the sky in your mouth," says Lolo, the bicycle repairman. Mahmoud, who "comes from the desert," says, "A poem is when you hear the heartbeat of a stone." "A poem," says Arthur's grandmother, "turns words around, upside down, and-suddenly!-the world is new." Tallec paints what Arthur sees as he listens: Lolo flying through the clouds with his girlfriend, Mahmoud kneeling close to a rock under the desert sun, a giant whale swimming upside-down through an inverted city street. When Arthur returns to Leon and strings together the answers he's received-"A poem is when you have the sky in your mouth"-they make, children will perceive, a perfectly beautiful poem. Exuding magic and unbridled creativity on every page, this is a book with the potential to heal more than just fish. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal
A young boy is convinced that his pet fish will die of boredom, so his mother suggests that he give it a poem as she departs for her tuba lesson. This improbable premise leads into an equally improbable search for what exactly a poem is. The bright paintings do not relieve a dull book that is pitched above its audience. "A poem!? But what is a poem? Arthur goes to look in the kitchen cabinet.-Is there a poem in there?-Nooo po-eeeem, the noodles sigh in reply." The boy asks a neighbor, who says, "A poem is when you hear the heartbeat of a stone." The child asks his pet bird; it responds, "A poem is when words beat their wings. It is a song sung in a cage." The best way for children to understand what a poem is is to hear wonderful poetry. Skip this book and buy another copy of Caroline Kennedy's A Family of Poems (Hyperion, 2005).
Kathleen WhalinCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.