Review of the Week

firefly julyJaneczko, Paul B. Firefly July: A Year of
Very Short Poems.  Melissa Sweet, Illus. Non-fic. Candlewick, 2014. 48p. $16.99. 978-0-7636-4842-8.
This anthology celebrates the four seasons with a delightful variety of free verse that spans over a century of poems, from Emily Dickinson to Richard Wright. Each short offering packs a visceral punch and hits just the right note to get kids inspired to both read and create their own poetry. These poetic gems are masterfully built from luscious language and vibrating rhythms so as to seem improvisational and light. The poets’ imagery and metaphor are likely to enhance children’s natural curiosity and keen observations of the world around them and to meet young readers where they are and expand their universe at the same time. For example: “What is it the wind has lost/that she keeps looking for/under each leaf?” Each poem is presented in simple black font to float on top of Sweet’s highly decorative mixedmedia illustrations that seep across every inch of the page in kaleidoscopic texture, vibrant colors, and delicious details. A must-have for any juvenile poetry collection.
Celia Jackson, Oakland PL

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