Amazing FacesThis collection of sixteen poems will evoke personal responses from children as they see themselves and their friends reflected in these poems. Hopkins, author of over 130 books of poetry for children, has gathered poems from some of today's best known children's poets, including Nikki Grimes, Jane Yolen, Janet S. Wong, and Joseph Bruchac. But the children in the poems really come front and center, as you read about a boy who falls asleep beside his mother as she sews clothes, a young girl who practices karate, a family who listens to their great aunt tell stories around the fireplace, and many more.
by Lee Bennett Hopkins
illustrated by Chris Soentpiet
NY: Lee and Low Books, 2010
ages 4 - 12
available on Amazon and at your local library
"A certain smile always appearsThe illustrations by Chris Soentpiet are wonderful, and will draw children who might be hesitant to try poetry into this collection. Soentpiet fills his illustrations with people from many different ethnic backgrounds, and he took careful effort to make the details reflect their ethnicity. For example, he writes in an interview on publisher Lee and Low's website,
when she feels a story about to come.
That smile is like an open door
All of us, young and old, are welcome."
- from Aunt Molly Sky, by Joseph Bruchac
"Since there are lots of different nationalities in this book, I had to make sure the trinkets and jewelry match what the characters would wear. I had to make sure the Native-American grandmother wears costume jewelry that reflects her heritage but at the same time was trying not to "stereotype" the look. Subsequently, I attended two powwows to learn about the Native Americans."Great stories are a mirror to see yourself, your friends, your family - this collection a wonderful way to share that experience with children. It is a collection I will share at home and at school with children, drawing them into poetry, and giving them a chance to see themselves and their friends reflected in wonderful artwork and poems.
The illustrations here are all by Chris Soentpiet, shared with permission of the illustrator. Find out more information about Amazing Faces on Lee and Low's website. I particularly found the stories behind the poems fascinating. Nine of the poems are original for this collection. Make sure you read Lee Bennett Hopkins interview on Wild Rose Reader, as part of the NCTE convention - here and here. Other reviews include:
- Carol's Corner
- Wrapped in Foil
- Kids Lit
The review copy came from my local public library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.