ISN'T MY NAME MAGICAL?

SISTER AND BROTHER POEMS

Leaving behind much of the lyricism found in his previous collections, Berry (First Palm Trees, 1997, etc.) pens poems in the voices of a sister, Dreena (who has the magical name), and brother, Delroy, on their experiences in the family with a dour sister, mother (“A teacher, Mom has lots of pens/and home and school jobs”), and father, who “drives a train,/sometimes in a heavy jacket.” This father is not really poem-material: “And, sometimes, Dad brings us gifts./Sometimes, he plays our piano.” The brother, Delroy, who tenders three autobiographical poems, can’t sit still and can’t stop talking about it. There is a good declarative poem, about a strong friendship he shares with another boy. Otherwise, he is dancing like a madman (“doing body-break and body-pop”) or skateboarding under the influence of a fevered imagination (“I want one owl on each my shoulder/hooting out as I leap each river”). In her first book, Hehenberger takes a literal route, anchoring every poem in domestic scenes of family and friends; the deep colors and finely sculpted forms become set pieces for Berry’s earthbound images. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-80013-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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JUMP BACK, HONEY

THE POEMS OF PAUL LAWRENCE DUNBAR

PLB 0-7868-2406-9 Bryan, Carole Byard, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, and Faith Ringgold pay tribute to Dunbar, a poet who heard the rhythms in everyday life and recorded them, e.g., “Jump back, honey, jump back” is what waiters called out to one another before coming out the swinging door of the kitchen into the dining room of a restaurant. Here, that phrase is part of “A Negro Love Song,” which Jerry Pinkney envisions as a young man and young woman at a garden gate. “Little Brown Baby” is a poem written for his father; “Dawn,” captures the quiet mystery of a new day: “An angel, robed in spotless white,/Bent down and kissed the sleeping Night./Night woke to blush; the sprite was gone./Men saw the blush and called it Dawn.” Readers will enjoy these poems and the variety of illustrative styles, but the words are even more meaningful if they are recited aloud. (Poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7868-0464-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Jump at the Sun

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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WHO BOP?

PLB 0-06-027918-4 In a tongue-tangling word-romp, London (Hip Cat, 1993, etc.) invites children to “jump right in, to swirl and spin” with the animal-attendees of his sock hop. This swinging party features cool cats, whirling rabbits, frolicking dogs, cavorting mice, and springing frogs, all grooving in half-tugged socks. London combines the deeply satisfying sounds of drums and keyboards with the upbeat be-bop of the sax to create a book that, when read out loud (at story hours or anytime), rivals the cadence of rhythm and blues. Working in confident, vivid colors, Cole sets out a playful visual introduction to musical instruments; the scenes are fairly bursting with joyful dancers who are so engaging that joining the hip-hop hoppin’ may be the only way to go. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 29, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-027917-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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