Are You An Echo?

In early-1900s Japan, Misuzu Kaneko grows from precocious bookworm to instantly-beloved children’s poet. But her life ends prematurely, and Misuzu’s work is forgotten. Decades later her poems are rediscovered—just in time to touch a new generation devastated by the tsunami of 2011. This picture book features Misuzu’s life story plus a trove of her poetry in English and the original Japanese.

Shadow

Shadow lives in the forest… It goes forth at night to prowl around the fires. It even likes to mingle with the dancers… Shadow… It waves with the grasses, curls up at the foot of trees… But in the African experience Shadow is much more. The village storytellers and shamans of an Africa that is passing into memory called forth for the poet Blaise Cendrars an eerie image, shifting between the beliefs of the present and the spirits of the past. Shadow… It does not cry out, it has no voice… It can cast a spell over you… It follows man everywhere, even to war… Marcia Brown’s stunning illustrations in collage, inspired by her travels in Africa, evoke the atmosphere and drama of a life now haunted, now enchanted by Shadow.

A Fire In My Hands: Revised And Expanded Edition

fire

Few writers capture the everyday moments of life like Gary Soto. In direct and vivid poems, he draws from his own youth in California’s Central Valley to portray the joys and sorrows of young people. His writing focuses on Latino characters, yet speaks to readers of all ethnicities.

Acclaimed by educators and unavailable since 1998, A Fire in My Hands has been revised and expanded in this new edition. Old and new fans of Soto’s work will welcome the return of his compelling poems.

Includes an introduction and an interview with the author.

Classic Poetry: An Illustrated Collection (Candlewick Illustrated Classic)

classic“Few anthologies for this age group include such a fine selection of works, introduce the poets so vividly, or provide such a rich collection of haunting illustrations.” — Booklist Poetry provides the best introduction to the marvels of the English language. This volume, collected by award-winning author Michael Rosen, presents a glorious selection of classic poetry, chronologically arranged from the seventeenth century to modern day—poems by such celebrated poets as William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, Carl Sandburg, and Langston Hughes— complete with biographical sketches of the poets, information on individual poems, and notes on poetic forms. Paul Howard’s full-color illustrations illuminate some of the most brilliant poems of the English-speaking world with stunning breadth and beauty. A book to be treasured, Classic Poetry belongs on every shelf—every child should know these poems and keep this book with them as they grow.

Rumi: Whirling Dervish

Born in Afghanistan in the thirteenth century, Rumi settled in Turkey and became a great mystical poet. Although he began his adult life as a highly respected scholar, he found his true calling after being mentored by a holy man, Shamsuddin. From “Shams,” he learned to listen for the sacred sound of God within himself. When his creative spirit was awakened, he recited more than 50,000 rhymed couplets. He also wrote about the love that resides in the soul of everyone regardless of religion or background. He founded the order of the whirling dervishes who believed their spinning dances put them in touch with God and brought peace and love into the world. Although Rumi died 800 years ago, his poems are more widely read now than ever before. To honor the 800th anniversary of his birth, the United Nations declared 2007 The Year of Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi.

Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets: The Mad, the Bad, and the Dangerous

Meet the rebellious young poets who brought about a literary revolution. Rock stars may think they invented sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but the Romantic poets truly created the mold. In the early 1800s, poetry could land a person in jail. Those who tried to change the world through their poems risked notoriety—or courted it. Among the most subversive were a group of young writers known as the Romantics: Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Cole-ridge, William Wordsworth, and John Keats. These rebels believed poetry should express strong feelings in ordinary language, and their words changed literature forever.

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano

A lyrical biography of a Cuban slave who escaped to become a celebrated poet. Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty.  Powerful, haunting poems and breathtaking illustrations create a portrait of a life in which even the pain of slavery could not extinguish the capacity for hope.

To Go Singing Through the World: The Childhood of Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda grew up in the rough and wild frontier town of Temuco, Chile. His father was a railroad man and not inclined to draw out the introspective boy. However, his stepmother, descended from the Mapuche people, was gentle and nurturing and told him stories of Chile’s native people. But in her husband’s presence, she was as silent as Pablo. So the child found refuge in nature and in books. And secretly he wrote down his thoughts. With the encouragement of Gabriela Mistral, an award-winning poet, teacher, and friend, Neruda’s writing grew resonant and powerful. At age sixteen he left Temuco for the university in Santiago and went on to become the “people’s poet” and to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Blending her telling of Neruda’s childhood with excerpts from his own poetry and prose, Ms. Ray captures the people and places that inspired him in her rich watercolor illustrations.