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Wonderful Words: Poems About Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

Overview

Come, words, come in your every color.
Whether we are sharing poems or secrets, acting onstage, or just telling jokes, the words we use are our best friends. Join acclaimed poet Lee Bennett Hopkins in this glorious collection celebrating words in speech, reading, language, and drama and how they influence our lives. Works by Emily Dickinson, Eve Merriam, and Nikki Grimes make whispers, metaphors, and dreams come alive, while Karen Barbour's illustrations interpret the magic of ...

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Overview

Come, words, come in your every color.
Whether we are sharing poems or secrets, acting onstage, or just telling jokes, the words we use are our best friends. Join acclaimed poet Lee Bennett Hopkins in this glorious collection celebrating words in speech, reading, language, and drama and how they influence our lives. Works by Emily Dickinson, Eve Merriam, and Nikki Grimes make whispers, metaphors, and dreams come alive, while Karen Barbour's illustrations interpret the magic of language with vivid hues. This is a collection sure to inspire wordsmiths of all ages, over and over. And just maybe there's a poet who didn't know it in you!

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
"Morning is/a new sheet of paper/for you to write on." Like all the lively, moving, and enriching poems in this collection, these verses from Eve Merriam celebrate the power and wonder of words. Gouache paintings pulse with color and energy, adding even more verve to the verse. (Ages 6 to 8)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
The third book in a series (begun with Marvelous Math: A Book of Poems, also illustrated by Barbour), this picture book collection is a linguistic pleasure. Works by Emily Dickinson, Eve Merriam and Karla Kuskin rub shoulders with poems by Nikki Grimes, David McCord and Hopkins himself. Particularly vivid is Alice Schertle's "Writing Past Midnight" in which the speaker pictures herself writing a poem about a barn and "the sound/ of sheep snoring softly/ blends with the hum of computers/ .../ spiderwebs anchor the edge of my desk to the floor/ a small gray verse runs squeaking down one of the rafters." Unfortunately, Barbour's watercolors, while artistically interesting, sometimes distance readers from the poems. With a few exceptions, such as the stunningly simple illustration for Grimes's "The Dream," the paintings can overwhelm the text, their shapes and figures appearing to compete with rather than complement the richly metaphorical poems. Although the human figures bear varying and multicultural skin tones and costumes, they often share a single expression on their stylized faces. For example, illustrating Carl Sandburg's "Primer Lesson," a crying boy's face is sprinkled with tears, but is otherwise almost identical to the faces of those who taunt him. Nonetheless, Hopkins's selection of poems about words will delight both teachers and children who want to think about the power and satisfaction words and books can bring. Ages 6-11. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The intricacies of language are explored in this collection of poems from many very well known poets including Emily Dickinson, Eve Merriam, Nikki Grimes and Carl Sandburg. To fully appreciate them, kids will need to have some language skills. If you do not know what a metaphor is or punctuation symbols then you will miss the point of some of these poems. "Word Builder" is one that should be easily understood by the younger kids. It describes the alphabet which creates words which become sentences that become paragraphs and chapters and before you know it there is an entire book. My personal favorite is the poem by Richard Armour entitled "The Period" and it is appropriately placed at the end of the book. The art is bright and bold and in some cases quite fanciful. The illustration for Nikki Grimes' short poem "The Dream" is quite effective in its apparent simplicity. An interesting book to get kids motivated to discuss and perhaps try writing some poems of their own. 2004, Simon & Schuster, Ages 6 to 11.
—Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-This colorfully illustrated compilation presents 15 poems that show the power of words. The authors include Eve Merriam, Pat Mora, David McCord, Nikki Grimes, and Carl Sandburg. All of the selections are excellent, and provide examples of different types of poetry. The gouache illustrations are unusual, combining folk art with more abstract images. The colors are bold and bright, and used in unique and unexpected ways (e.g., skin is blue, palm trees are pink). The simple page designs nicely incorporate the text into each picture. The paintings reflect the content and messages of the poems they accompany, and will enhance their meaning. With some adult encouragement, this book would be appealing to most children, and could be used for poetry lessons.-Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fifteen poets, from Emily Dickinson to Karla Kuskin, celebrate the pleasures of communicating, while Barbour underscores those pleasures with dazzling, sometimes kaleidoscopic scenes of open books and stylized, often unusually colored human or animal figures. Hopkins has gathered a mix of new poems and reprints: Eve Merriam offers a "Metaphor": "Morning is / a new sheet of paper / "; Pat Mora has a tumble of "Words Free As Confetti"; the McKissacks urge children to "Share The Adventure" of reading; Kuskin of "Finding a Poem"; and Ann Whitford Paul of being a "Word Builder." Alice Schertle contributes a gem about the surreal effects of "Writing Past Midnight," and Richard Armour's disquisition on "The Period" provides an apt close. Like Eloise Greenfield's similarly themed In the Land of Words (2003), this will draw plenty of readers and listeners with its bright colors, and bright words. (Poetry. 7-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689835889
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 686,429
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

LEE BENNETT HOPKINS is a distinguished poet, writer, and anthologist whose poetry collections include the highly acclaimed Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry, illustrated by Peter Fiore, and My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, and America at War, both illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Mr. Hopkins’s numerous awards include the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for “lasting contributions to children’s literature” and both the Christopher Award and a Golden Kite Honor for his verse novel Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life. He lives in Cape Coral, Florida.

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