More than 30 poets conjure island life-the sea, storytelling, food, nature and the experience of travelling away from home-in Under the Moon & Over the Sea: A Collection of Caribbean Poems, ed. by John Agard and Grace Nichols, illus. by Christopher Corr, Sara Fanelli, Cathie Felstead, Satoshi Kitamura and Jane Ray. Divided into five sections, the volume presents more than 50 works, from Creole ("If you go to crab dance/ you mus' get mud") and Caribbean ("Don't spread tablecloth till pot done boil") proverbs to traditional rhymes and songs to poems (including several by co-editor Nichols), some of which are previously unpublished (such as a few by co-editor Agard).
More than fifty poems give an intriguing flavor of Caribbean life in Under the Moon and Over the Sea, edited by John Agard and Grace Nichols. Thirty poets tell of hummingbirds and mangoes, the legendary Mama-Wata, and that "six o'clock feeling" when the island sun goes down. The verses range in tone from exuberant to prayerful to wistful. The final poems explore the immigration experience and sometimes contrast the new country and climate with the old, tropical home. In Grace Nichols's "Making My First Snowman in My Mother's Pink Rubber Gloves," a child valiantly tackles a winter ritual. In Valerie Bloom's "De," another youngster bemoans "de wishy-washy sunlight" and "weepy sky." Five artists—Cathie Felstead, Jane Ray, Christopher Corr, Satoshi Kitamura and Sara Fanelli—contribute bright art in a variety of styles, from cut paper to collage. 2002, Candlewick,
— Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-A collection of more than 50 poems guaranteed to chase away any winter blahs. Each of the book's five sections begins with a piece of Caribbean folklore and is illustrated by a different contemporary artist-Cathie Felstead, Jane Ray, Christopher Corr, Satoshi Kitamura, and Sara Fanelli. Within each section, vibrant words and evocative artwork bring the sights, sounds, and smells of the islands to life-from powerful storms in Alan Smith's "Emily Hurricane" ("She had silver hair/but it was kind of wild,/electricity for eyes/and a crackling laugh") to dazzling markets in Agnes Maxwell-Hall's "Jamaica Market" ("Honey, pepper, leaf-green limes,/Pagan fruit whose names are rhymes"). Agard and Nichols, who collaborated on No Hickory No Dickory No Dock: Caribbean Nursery Rhymes (Candlewick, 1995; o.p.), have once again created an exuberant tribute to one of the world's enchanted places.-Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
A blend of sea and land, leavened with some scary creatures from folklore, served up with the local foods and fruits, and then spread to other colder parts of the globe, this anthology is a lively mix of rhythms, stories, and descriptions that illuminate the geography and culture of the region, while providing a variety of linguistic and visual delights. The poets hail mostly from the English-speaking islands and the parts of the world where Caribbean immigrants have settled. They include the two editors from Guyana, James Berry from Jamaica, Lynn Joseph from Trinidad, and many others. Short biographical notes would have been a welcome addition. Each of the five artists, who are not necessarily associated with the Caribbean, has illustrated the poems in one of the sections of the book in very different styles. They range from Felstead's Matisse-like collages of the sea and its inhabitants that open the collection to Jane Ray's spooky renderings of the supernatural creatures of island folklore to Satoshi Kitamura's stylized, humorous people and fruits and vegetables. Traditional proverbs and rhymes are scattered throughout. There is fun to be had with Valerie Bloom's poem entitled "Guidance," in which a very proper uncle dispenses such advice as "Don' kiss yuh teeth when me talk to yuh / An' mind how yuh looking at me too" and a very sad little girl thinks: "Life is very tough for me / When Uncle Henry comes to tea." For those who enjoy the feeling of horror, the eerie "Jumbie Man," by Faustin Charles, in which the lines "Jumbie man returning red / Fire bleeding the dead; With his see-through head / Walking where angels fear to tread" is accompanied by a fearsome painting by Ray. Withpoems and illustrations for many moods, this volume with its lively language and playful pictures is sure to please. (index of poets and first lines) (Poetry. 6-12)