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Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley

Narrated by MacLeod Andrews, Ron Butler

Unabridged — 2 hours, 32 minutes

Kwame Alexander

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Overview

Out of gratitude for the poet's art form, Newbery Award winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors' hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration, inviting the viewer to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.


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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Maria Russo

Complementing the infectious mood of tribute is the spirited mixed-media artwork by Holmes (Voice of Freedom), a harmonious riot of color, texture and pattern.

Publishers Weekly

★ 12/19/2016
Wisdom from Lucille Clifton (“Poems come out of wonder, not out of knowing”) inspires the title for this collection from Newbery Medalist Alexander (The Crossover) and collaborators Colderley and Wentworth. Together, they supply poems honoring—and in the style of—20 poets, including Rumi, Langston Hughes, and Gwendolyn Brooks. The results range from simple description (“a trendsetter, and a rule breaker,” writes Colderley about William Carlos Williams) to Alexander’s fresh and startling love song à la E.E. Cummings (“It is such a happy thing to yes the next with you/ to walk on magic love rugs beneath the what”). Caldecott Honor–winner Holmes’s (Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer) textured-paper collages use bold, angular forms and sunlit colors to spotlight poets and their subject matter, such as the dancers in a poem inspired by Ugandan poet Okot p’Bitek, their outstretched fingers echoed in the rays of the sun above. The exercise of celebrating poets in their own voices leads naturally to the idea of the classroom writing prompt—which Colderley, writing haiku in the style of Basho, seems to anticipate: “Pens scratching paper/ Syllables counted with care/ Poets blossoming.” Ages 8–12. (Mar.)

From the Publisher

The three authors take turns emulating their idols, who include Emily Dickinson, Billy Collins and Terrance Hayes…Complementing the infectious mood of tribute is the spirited mixed-media artwork by Holmes (‘Voice of Freedom’), a harmonious riot of color, texture and pattern.
—The New York Times Book Review

Newbery medalist Kwame Alexander has come up with a fresh and joyful way to interest children in poetry...Holmes takes collage work to a new level, with gloriously colored art that, the closer you look, tells further stories within stories. Each illustration captures not just the feeling of the poem, but wakes up readers to life’s excitements and small joys. Exemplary words and pictures make this a multicultural masterwork.
—Booklist (starred review)

Caldecott Honor–winner Holmes’s (Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer) textured-paper collages use bold, angular forms and sunlit colors to spotlight poets and their subject matter...The exercise of celebrating poets in their own voices leads naturally to the idea of the classroom writing prompt—which Colderley, writing haiku in the style of Basho, seems to anticipate: “Pens scratching paper/ Syllables counted with care/ Poets blossoming.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Powerhouse poet Alexander, along with friends Colderley and Wentworth, offers a culturally rich collection of poetic tributes that extends the legacies of poets from around the globe...This book is sure to be an educator's lucky charm for a survey-of-poetry unit and is also a perfect entryway for families to wonder and explore together. Brief notes introduce the three sections, and thumbnail biographies of the poets celebrated are appended. A magnificent exploration of the poetic imagination.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Holmes’ use of collage offers the perfect visual metaphor for the act of transforming borrowed forms and ideas into powerful original art. The source poems are not included, but biographical notes for the referenced poets are, followed by information about their era and location. A nourishing and delicious feast for eyes and ears, this belongs on every bookshelf.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

The celebrated poets here...represent a wide range of cultures and time periods. Holmes’s vibrant, arresting mixed-media collages, both full pages and double-page spreads, complement and extend the themes and rich imagery presented in the poems. Educators and librarians searching for books to introduce children to influential poets as well as model texts for writing poetry will welcome this stellar title.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

Whether it inspires or entertains, Out of Wonder will transport readers of all ages, interests and backgrounds to new worlds.
—Shelf Awareness Maximum Pro

The carefully chosen and arranged selections take readers on a wondrous journey through a number of lyrical forms, from haiku to free verse, accompanied by illustrations by Caldecott honoree Holmes. The bold mixed-media and layered collage–style paintings creatively capture each poem’s essence...This unusual and successful volume is a valuable addition to school and classroom libraries for writing workshops and reading pleasure.
—School Library Journal

Spanning centuries and cultures, Kwame Alexander’s new collection, Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (ages 8 to 12), is a delightful survey of verse forms and narrative voices… Ekua Holmes’ stunning mixed-media illustrations have a poetry all their own, making this homage to an international group of literary legends a book to be treasured.
—BookPage

This lively collection will brighten any room—and any mind—it inhabits.
—New York Journal of Books

This marvelous collection of original poems celebrates the life and work of a marvelous diversity of 20 poets...The oversize volume makes room for Holmes’ gorgeous, large collage illustrations.
—Buffalo News

Organized around writing, experience and gratitude, these reverential poems...will send well-read fans back to points of inspiration.
—San Francisco Chronicle

Ekua Holmes...creates mixed media art that is as evocative as the poems they complement and that demand we look as deeply into them as we do the poems.
—Literacy Daily

Poetry is given a special purpose in this comprehensive book of poems by three powerful authors who have tag-teamed to celebrate 20 beloved poets...The illustrations are creative, bold, and reminiscent of the era in which the celebrated poets existed.
—School Library Connection

This anthology of praise poems is exactly as advertised — wondrous.
—Boston Globe

Ostensibly self-conscious in the genre of representational art, [Ekua Holmes] deftly salutes African-American luminaries who preceded her with stunning vibrancy — extending a clear-eyed perspective and a verve that serve to open new imaginative and intellectual vistas. She also weds herself to the idea that art should carry with it crisp social commentary, editorials on the state of black America….
—WBUR's The ARTery

School Library Journal - Audio

★ 07/01/2018
Gr 4–7—Poets Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth join Alexander in honoring writers, from Rumi and Basho to Terrance Hayes. Emily Dickinson is added to a rich, diverse mix of 20th- and 21st-centory authors that includes Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, Naomi Shihab Nye, William Carlos Williams, Mary Oliver, and Pablo Neruda. Each original entry reflects the work of the poet who inspired it. Divided into three sections: "Get Style," "In Your Shoes," and "Thank You," the poems are enhanced with simple, compatible musical backdrops. The recording concludes with short, insightful biographies and a list for each poet's country of origin. Ron Butler, MacLeod Andrews, and Erin Bennett narrate with a careful, light-handed touch. While both CDs contain the entire text, one adds page-turn tones. Equally appropriate for primary and middle school learning, this is a perfect springboard for lessons in literature, geography, art and a wide variety of creative explorations. VERDICT With a multitude of potential uses, this delightful audiobook is a valuable addition for all libraries serving elementary and middle school students. Adults and teens will find it appealing, too.—Barbara S. Wysocki, formerly at Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT

School Library Journal

02/01/2017
Gr 4–7—Newbery Award winner Alexander has collaborated with Colderley, a poet and elementary school teacher, and Wentworth, the poet laureate of South Carolina, to produce a collection of verse that pays tribute to notable poets. The 20 pieces presented are each crafted specifically in homage to a famous wordsmith, often incorporating key tenets of their style. The spotlighted poets include ancient writers (e.g., Basho and Rumi), 20th-century lyricists such as Robert Frost and Langston Hughes, and contemporary figures such as Naomi Shihab Nye, Billy Collins, Maya Angelou, and more. In his preface, Alexander writes, "A poem is a small but powerful thing." The carefully chosen and arranged selections take readers on a wondrous journey through a number of lyrical forms, from haiku to free verse, accompanied by illustrations by Caldecott honoree Holmes. The bold mixed-media and layered collage—style paintings creatively capture each poem's essence. To continue the celebration, back matter offers biographical sketches of those featured. However, it perhaps would have been optimal to incorporate samples of original works by the honored poets for immediate comparison. VERDICT This unusual and successful volume is a valuable addition to school and classroom libraries for writing workshops and reading pleasure.—Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2016-12-21
Powerhouse poet Alexander, along with friends Colderley and Wentworth, offers a culturally rich collection of poetic tributes that extends the legacies of poets from around the globe. With mixed-media illustrations by Caldecott honoree Holmes that are just as vibrant as the words and stories that accompany them, the anthology brings readers through a time- and world-traveling adventure of the poetic imagination. Eras, places, and cultures represented include ancient times, 20th-century, contemporary, Japan, Uganda, African-American, Native American, Latino, and white, too. This cross-cultural exploration embraces the timeless power of poetry, as Alexander's preface makes clear, "to reach inside of you, to ignite something in you, and to change you in ways you never imagined." The tributes to such legendary poets as Rumi, Emily Dickinson, and Maya Angelou both serve as homage, transparent in their honest gratitude for their inspiration and wisdom, and emulate their distinctive styles. "Snapshots," Colderley's poem celebrating Nikki Giovanni, reads in part, "poetry is…barbecue…cotton candy…purple skin beets from Daddy's garden… / blues…the Birdland jazz club…Sunday morning gospel…chasing justice…freedom…," capturing Giovanni's subject matter and stylized punctuation use. This book is sure to be an educator's lucky charm for a survey-of-poetry unit and is also a perfect entryway for families to wonder and explore together. Brief notes introduce the three sections, and thumbnail biographies of the poets celebrated are appended. A magnificent exploration of the poetic imagination. (Picture book/poetry. 8-14)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940175395816
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Publication date: 05/27/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

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