During a visit to her grandma's house, a young girl discovers a box of poems in the attic, poems written by her mother when she was growing up. Her mother s family often moved around the United States and the world because her father was in the Air Force.Read more...
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During a visit to her grandma's house, a young girl discovers a box of poems in the attic, poems written by her mother when she was growing up. Her mother s family often moved around the United States and the world because her father was in the Air Force. Over the years, her mother used poetry to record her experiences in the many places the family lived. Reading the poems and sharing those experiences through her mother s eyes, the young girl feels closer to her mother than ever before. To let her mother know this, she creates a gift: a book with her own poems and copies of her mother s. And when she returns her mother s poems to the box in the attic, she leaves her own poems too, for someone else to find, someday. Using free verse for the young girl s poems and tanka for her mother s, master poet Nikki Grimes creates a tender intergenerational story that speaks to every child s need to hold onto special memories of home, no matter where that place might be."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-05-11
- Reviewer: Staff
During a visit to her grandmother's house, a seven-year-old African-American girl discovers poems her mother wrote in her youth, giving the daughter a window into her mother's peripatetic upbringing as an Air Force brat. Grimes (Chasing Freedom) alternates between the daughter's free-verse poems and her mother's five-line tanka poetry. In one scene, the girl's grandmother shows her how to make paper luminarias, just as she did with her daughter while they were living in New Mexico ("After we were done,/ our brown bag candleholders/ bloomed bright, lighting up the night"); a Japanese dinner between girl and grandmother ties into a trip to Japan. (In author's notes, Grimes highlights the poetic forms she uses, as well as the Air Force bases that correspond to locations in the book). Fully in step with Grimes's empathic writing, Zunon's (One Plastic Bag) warmly painted collages carry readers from the waterways of Virginia to a German castle atop a hill, highlighting the powerful emotional ties between the girl and her elders, as well as her mother's adventurous spirit. Ages 6–11. Author's agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. Illustrator's agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (May)