Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Pocketful of 2010 Children's Poetry Books

Hip, hip, hooray! A children’s poetry book received a Newbery Honor Award this year!!!
The book was Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Welcoming her readers into the “wild, enchanted park” that is the night, Joyce Sidman has elegantly crafted twelve poems rich in content and varied in format. Companion prose pieces about nocturnal flora and fauna are as tuneful and graceful as the poems. This collection is “a feast of sound and spark.”

You can read my review of Dark Emperor here.


The Association for Library Service to Children has announced its 2011 Notable Children’s Books.

Here are the poetry books that made the list this year:

In the Wild. By David Elliott. Illus. By Holly Meade. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763644970).
A joyful collection of brief poems paired with dynamic woodblock prints celebrates favorite animals from every continent.

Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. By Salley Mavor. Houghton, $21.99 (9780618737406).
Familiar and lesser known nursery rhymes, illustrated with superb needlework and appliqué, create a charming dollhouse of a book.

Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys. By Bob Raczka. Illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. Houghton, $14.99 (9780547240039).
Six haiku for each season of the year, celebrating the interaction of boys and nature, combine with loose, expressive cartoons to make a winning combination.

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors. By Joyce Sidman. Illus. By Beckie Prange. Houghton, $17.00 (9780618717194).
Three books in one! This amazing book of poetry is also a beautiful picture book and a nonfiction tribute to the adaptability of life on earth.
(You can read my review of Ubiquitous here.)

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night. By Joyce Sidman. Illus. by Rick Allen. Houghton, $16.99 (9780547152288).
Twelve elegantly crafted poems celebrating the night are accompanied by prose pieces about nocturnal flora and fauna. Newbery Honor Book

Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. By Marilyn Singer. Illus. by Josee Masse. Dutton, $16.99 (97870525479017).
What fun! Read the poem in one direction and it tells the folktale from one point of view. Read it in the opposite direction and the point of view is reversed.


I must admit that I was surprised and disappointed that Jeannine Atkins’s wonderful Borrowed Names: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters didn’t make the list. I loved that book!

There were two stellar poetry anthologies published last year.

Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems

selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by David Diaz


Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems

collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters and illustrated by G. Brian Karas.

I am happy that these last three books are all 2010 Cybils Poetry Finalists--as are Dark Emperor, Ubiquitous, and Mirror, Mirror.

There were other fine children's poetry books published in 2010. Unfortunately, I didn't get around to writing reviews of most of them. I hope to write more reviews this year.

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