By Laura Ennis, BK Story Voyager Librarian
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets
By Kwame Alexander
(for readers in grades 3-7)
“Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets” is Kwame Alexander’s celebration of twenty famous poets. Along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, Kwame creates new poetry as he pays homage to the greats: Emily Dickinson, Billy Collins, Langston Hughes, and Maya Angelou to name a few. There are three parts to this beautifully illustrated collection: “Got Style,” “In Your Shoes,” and “Thank You.” Alexander’s poems in “Got Style” mimic the selected poets’ styles. “In Your Shoes” portrays the specific feelings and themes of the celebrated poets, while the last section shows appreciation for the poets. For instance, Kwame’s “Jazz Jive Jam” celebrates Langston Hughes’ poetic vibe and showcases the way in which Hughes incorporates rhythm, beat, and music into his poems.
Alexander Kwame and company model how creative poetry can be. Ekua Holmes’ illustrations are bright, textured, and collage-like. Her work is a showcase of artistic expression; it displays how an illustrator interprets poetry based on the rhythm, text, and pattern.
“Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets” is the perfect text to get your child excited about poetry. From these poems, students can begin to wonder and question what poetry means to them. It is also a good introduction to the greats, new and old. It is a celebratory read for the holiday season.