Thursday, February 05, 2009

A River of Words by Jennifer Bryant

Yes, I know, some people will say this is a picture book and so doesn't belong on this blog, but it's a wonderful book, and it's about one of my favorite poets, William Carlos Williams. The book was just named a 2009 Caldecott Honors book for Melissa Sweet's collage-style artwork, which incorporates the text of many of Williams's poems. I have always thought Williams's poetry is well suited for children (check out the Poetry for Young People series book William Carlos Williams) and this book is sure to provoke new interest in his work. I never knew that he was a doctor! His poetry is so appealing, I just assumed that he was a full-time poet. It's certainly inspiring to learn that someone can be so accomplished as a writer when it's not even their full-time job. It's also funny to read about such a distinguished poet being called "Willy!" This book clearly satisfies the Caldecott requirement of being "distinguished." In the back of the book are a timeline of Williams's life, publications, and world events, and also notes by the Author and Illustrator which let the readers in on how the book came about. Review by Stacy Church

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