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Words with Wings: A Treasury of African American Poetry and Art

by Belinda Rochelle

Published by HarperCollins, 2001
48 pages
ISBN: 0-688-16415-3

Ages 10 - 16

A terrific book for older children and teens pairs 20 poems by African American writers with 20 paintings by African American artists. This lively and powerful compilation not only introduces a range of African American writers and artists of the past 150 years but it celebrates their creativity and their diversity–in style, in experience, in point of view. In her inspiring introduction, selector Belinda Rochelle emphasizes the important role that each child or young adult plays as a reader/viewer of poetry and art, writing that "we must help give the poems and art their wings by bringing to them our own experiences and histories, and our willingness to let them take us somewhere new." Rochelle has modeled one way of doing just that in the choices she made for this volume, pairing, for example, Georgia Douglas Johnson's poem "Your World" with Robert Scott Duncanson's painting "Landscape with Rainbow, Alice Walker's poem "Women" with William H. Johnson's painting "Harriet Tubman." Contemplating the decisions made in these pairings is just one starting point for thinking about and discussing the poetry and art of this volume. CCBC categories: Poetry; The Arts.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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