|Poems in the attic|
Author: Grimes, Nikki
A young girl learns much about her mother as she reads a collection of poems written before she was born that capture her mother's memories of living around the world and growing up as a child of an Air Force serviceperson.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 176978
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/15/15)
School Library Journal (04/01/15)
The Hornbook (00/05/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2015 Gr 1–4—During a visit to Grandma's, a seven-year-old girl discovers a stash of poems in the attic written by her mother as a child. Each subsequent set of pages pairs a poem written by the girl with one by her mama. An air force brat, Mama wrote a different entry in each new place her family was stationed, showcasing the experiences of her "childhood on wings," from painting luminarias in New Mexico to kayaking in Virginia to catching cherry blossoms like snowflakes in Japan. Her writing also touches upon painful situations, such as leaving her friends behind when she moved and missing her father when he was away. The daughter's poems compare her and her grown-up mother's lives with the experiences detailed by Mama as a girl ("It's funny to think of Mama/making a mess with arts and crafts"). Sweet and accessible but never simplistic, this collection captures the experience of a military childhood with graceful sophistication. Grimes uses different styles of poem for each voice (free verse for the daughter and tanka poems for the mother), a choice that she discusses in an explanatory note on poetry forms that will serve budding poets and teachers alike. Rendered in acrylic, oil, and collage, Zunon's warm, vibrant illustrations complement the text perfectly. Readers with an especially keen interest in the locations highlighted can look to a complete list of Air Force Bases appended. VERDICT A gem of a book.—Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2015 A book about discoveries, this celebrates poetry and the quixotic life of a military family. A young girl responds in free verse to the poems she uncovers in the attic, poems her mother wrote in tanka (a form of Japanese poetry) about the wonder of her experiences living throughout the world. The mother’s voice dominates through longer poems and Zunon’s larger illustrations, but the daughter’s poems appear first on each page, and the connection between the poems is heartfelt. Their love of language and the natural world bind them together. There is also a rhythm to their experiences as well (the daughter writes of sand castles, and the mother, of a grunion run). Notes encourage readers to try their hands at either poetic form, while the pictures, a combination of acrylic, oil, and collage, encourage interest in the many places described. Pair with How I Discovered Poetry, by Marilyn Nelson (2014), for a slightly older audience interested in writing poetry and understanding the turmoil and adventure of being raised in a military family. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.