CANTO FAMILIAR

This humorous, tender collection of 25 poems and full-color linocuts about the daily life of Mexican-American children is a companion book to Soto's Neighborhood Odes (1992). Invoking ordinary domestic and community incidents, it's a fine introduction not only to poetry but to Chicano culture. In ``Papi's Menudo,'' a father enjoys a favorite dish; the narrator of ``Music for Fun and Profit'' gets paid not to play an instrument; and ``My Teacher in the Market'' explores the amazement of a child upon seeing a teacher outside of class. The poems are generally descriptive rather than abstract, more concerned with communicating feelings than with literary style, and most are free verse, without regular cadence or rhyme scheme. Nelson debuts with scenes—homey, comfortable, bright—that make the book even more accessible. (Poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-15-200067-4

Page Count: 79

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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An unusually slight offering from an author whose work is usually so compelling.

BRAVO!

POEMS ABOUT AMAZING HISPANICS

This book features the lives of a variety of Latinos who faced life’s challenges with aplomb and in their own ways.

Celebrated Cuban-American author Engle presents the lives of some well-known Latinos such as the musician Tito Puente, labor union organizer César Chávez, and National Baseball Hall of Fame player Roberto Clemente. Others are not as familiar to children today but still left their marks on our country: Father Félix Varela, who became an advocate of equal rights for Irish immigrants; Paulina Pedroso, who openly defied racial segregation; Aída de Acosta, who flew a dirigible six months before the Wright brothers flew the first airplane; and George Meléndez Wright, first chief of the National Parks Wildlife Division and a renowned conservationist. Given his close association with Cuba rather than the United States, the inclusion of poet José Martí is puzzling. Each one of the 18 people presented is awarded a double-page spread. On one page each person is stunningly portrayed in López’s strong and vibrant style; opposite is a first-person biographical poem that provides a glimpse into its subject’s life. At the end of the book the author has included a brief biographical note about each, yet between poem and note readers may find they are left with a large information gap. A further list of other outstanding Latinos is also included.

An unusually slight offering from an author whose work is usually so compelling. (Picture book/biography/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9876-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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AN EGRET’S DAY

Poetry and short informative paragraphs combine to celebrate both the elegance and the natural history of the American egret. Haiku, free verse, rhyming couplets and even a limerick are just some of the forms Yolen masterfully uses to engage readers on both aesthetic and scientific levels. Gorgeous photography completes this carefully designed literary science piece with scenes of the egret’s daily life. Stemple captures the egret’s movements as the light of each part of the day, from the yellow-orange glow of sunrise to midday pink to late afternoon sunset blue to evening purple, is reflected on its snow-white feathers. Both the poetry and the brief fact-filled vignettes explain how egrets walk, eat, fly and preen and how their plumes, so lace-like, were once coveted for decorating clothes and hats. A final poem muses on the future of this great wading bird in a country filled with polluted wetlands. A stunning combination of scientific and ecological knowledge offered through a graceful fusion of lyrical and visual media. (Informational picture book/poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59078-650-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2009

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