One Last Word by Nikki Grimes

one-last-word-by-nikki-grimes

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes (InfoSoup)

Released January 3, 2017.

Master poet Grimes has created a book of poetry that celebrates the poets from the Harlem Renaissance who influenced her. Through her amazing skill, she pays homage to their original poems by creating her own from their words. Using a form called Golden Shovel, she takes lines from their poems and uses them as the final words in the lines of her poems. Both the Harlem Renaissance poetry and Grimes’ speak to the experience of African Americans and for Grimes, African American children and teens. These are poems about difficulties, about racism, about hate and about love.

As I read these poems, I realized over and over again how very skilled Grimes is. It is most stunning when you remember the form she is using, because her poetry flows and dances as if entirely unrestricted. Still, the bold words tie the two poems together and one remembers the strict form she is using and the grace with which she handles it. Grimes speaks directly to children and teens of color in this book, making sure they see themselves and their experiences on the page. That they see the racism, the bullying and the dangers around them. She also makes sure though that they see a strong community, voices to raise in protest and the familial love around them.

The book is beautifully designed with each page washed with yellows and sometimes lined in blue. It is illustrated by some of the top African-American children’s book illustrators working today. It is a stunning collection of art, filled with emotion, pain and endurance.

Masterful, skilled and very timely, this book of poetry elevates us all and sings to the skies that African-American children are valuable and vital in this world. Appropriate for ages 10-13.

Reviewed from ARC received from Bloomsbury.

10 Great Wintry Picture Books

Celebrate the winter solstice and the chilly season with some wonderful warm winter picture books! Here are ten of my favorites perfect for a cozy cuddle:

Before Morning Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money

Before Morning by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes

Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

28814781 Peter and the Winter Sleepers

Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Peter and the Winter Sleepers by Rick De Haas

Waiting for Winter 18636916

Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen

Winter Candle 17197795

Winter Candle by Jeron Frame, illustrated by Stacey Schuett

Winter Is Coming by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Jim LaMarche

43128 Winter Trees

Winter Is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer

Winter Trees by Carole Gerber, illustrated by Leslie Evans