Poetry books are an ideal way for children to fall in love with the beauty of language.
The North Paran Book Buzzlist is a weekly feature produced by NorthParan.com that gives readers an entertaining digest of the most fascinating books that are being talked about by the black community today.
Remember: For every book you purchase at NorthParan.com, a new book will be given to a child in need!
1. The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes has long been acknowledged as the voice, and his poem, The Negro Speaks of Rivers, the song, of the Harlem Renaissance. Although he was only seventeen when he composed it, Hughes already had the insight to capture in words the strength and courage of black people in America. Artist E.B. Lewis acts as interpreter and visionary, using watercolor to pay tribute to Hughes’s timeless poem, a poem that every child deserves to know.
2. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes
“HOLD FAST TO DREAMS / For if dreams die / Life is a broken-winged bird / That cannot fly.” The Dream Keeper, the great African-American writer Langston Hughes’s only collection of poems for children, includes some of his best loved works. It is being reissued in a handsome hardcover edition in celebration of its 75th anniversary. Filled with elegant scratchboard illustrations by Caldecott Honor winner Brian Pinkey, and featuring an introduction by noted children’s poet Lee Bennett Hopkins.
3. The Night Has Ears: African Proverbs by Ashley Bryan
Ashley Bryan says, “My mother had a proverb for any situation, attitude, or event.” Many of us have had the same experience. But have you ever heard, “As a crab walks, so walk its children” or “A log may lie in the water for ten years, but it will never become a crocodile”? These are two of the twenty-six African proverbs Ashley Bryan has chosen to illustrate in this book.
4. Honey I Love and Other Love Poems by Eloise Greenfield
First published in the 1978 edition of “Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems,” this collection by a Coretta Scott King Award-winner emphasizes that love can be found just about anywhere.
5. The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free. People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness. Rosa is a nurse, but she dares not go to the camps. So she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her.
6. Carver: A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson
This collection of poems provides a lyrical account of the life of George Washington Carver, a man born into slavery who went on to head the agricultural department at the Tuskegee Institute.