New at the Peter White Public Library: Children’s Poetry | News, Sports, Jobs


The Peter White Public Library in Marquette is pictured. The library highlights children’s poetry and new non-fiction titles. (Newspaper archive photo)

In his introduction to the Everything Comes Next collection by young poet laureate Naomi Shihab Nye, poet Edward Hirsch says this about childhood: “[it is] a sacred place, almost a country in its own right. . . who knows no borders. . . It is a colorful flag and waves over all of our heads, like a banner. “

At the start of the year, where we all look like children towards the future, poetry is a way to bring us back to this sacred place, this country that Hirsch describes. It reminds us to wave a colorful flag and see the world again through children’s eyes. The Peter White Public Library Youth Services has books of poetry that speak to the child within all of us.

“Winter lights”, Anna Grossnickle Hines’ collection of poems celebrating the light during the darkest season of the year (j811.54 HI) is a feast for the ears and the eyes. The poems in the book are simple but full of wonder, a growing ice cube, “Catch the stars / above my window” to a moon that “paints pictures / on blue-white snow.” Each poem is elegantly illustrated with handmade quilts by the author. The result is a book that will take your breath away with its simple and childlike beauty.

“July firefly” an anthology of short poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko (j811.008 FI), constructs images of the four seasons through words as carefully selected as pieces of stained glass. In the poem “A good meeting” by Joyce Sidman, Rain and Dust Meet “sweet cinnamon kisses.” April Halprin Wayland describes sandpipers with “their needle beaks… / hemming the ocean. Poets Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser reflect on a “Welcome mat in the moonlight / on the floor”, ask the reader to “[w]ipe your feet / before going to bed. Melissa Sweet’s almost folkloric illustrations complement the poems perfectly with their vivid colors and grace.

“Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie,” by children’s poet laureate J. Patrick Lewis (j811.54 Le), is a feast of mathematical verses. Lewis reinvents classic poems like Edgar Allan Poe’s “The crow” and “A silent patient spider” by Walt Whitman, turning them into rhymes and puzzles about how many pizza pieces are left and how much Robert Frost spent on his underpants. Michael Slack’s whimsical illustrations add to the magic of this book, turning poetry lovers into mathematicians and mathematicians into poetry lovers.

“incredible” written and illustrated by Douglas Florian (j811.54 FL), begins “Welcome, welcome to our hive! / The honeycomb house where we thrive! Through the image and the poem, Florian tells the secret life of honey bees, from the queen to the drone. Words and pictures are dripping with golden honey, teaching with facts and music the important role of bees in our fragile world. This is a Bee-autiful poetry collection for young and old alike.

“Toasting Marshmallows” by award-winning poet Kristine O’Connell George (j811 Ge) captures the mystery and magic of camping. The tents are pitched (“[b]imminent, bright orange). Deer are being spied on (“a silent thrill / fading into the twilight“). An abandoned cabin is explored (“[t]here is more sky than hut“). The stars are contemplated (“feel the earth / turn ”). Artist Kate Kiesler’s paintings are perfect snapshots accompanying the down-to-earth lyricism of George’s poems.

Finally, the collection of laureate youth poet Naomi Shihab Nye “Everything comes after: collected and new poems” (j811.54 NY) is filled with pictures of words that are firmly entrenched and take flight “Sacred place” from childhood. Nye talks about a little girl visiting a library (“She will have a book to open / and open and open. / His life begins here ») and Gandhi as a child (“He might never have become / a non-violence activist / if the neighborhood boys hadn’t / beaten him”). With a precise and tender vision, Nye maps the landscape of childhood with words that both cut and heal.

By Martin Achatz

Adult programming


Pierre Blanc

Public library

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