Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month is a special occasion that celebrates poets’ integral role in our culture and that poetry matters. We invite you to Celebrate Poetry Month with Diverse Picture Books which are some of our favorite read alouds.
• Celebrate Poetry Month with Diverse Picture Books •
The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks
A picture-book biography of celebrated poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize.
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) is known for her poems about “real life.” She wrote about love, loneliness, family, and poverty–showing readers how just about anything could become a beautiful poem. Exquisite follows Gwendolyn from early girlhood into her adult life, showcasing her desire to write poetry from a very young age.
This picture-book biography explores the intersections of race, gender, and the ubiquitous poverty of the Great Depression–all with a lyrical touch worthy of the subject. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize, receiving the award for poetry in 1950. And in 1958, she was named the poet laureate of Illinois. A bold artist who from a very young age dared to dream, Brooks will inspire young readers to create poetry from their own lives.
EXQUISITE: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks
Written by Suzanne Slade and Illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera
Published by Abrams Books
Brown is beautiful. Brown is powerful!
Perfect for fans of Hair Love and Antiracist Baby, this lyrically written, stunningly illustrated picture book is a love letter to the beauty of brown skin and a message of love, acceptance, and pride for all brown sugar babes. A classic in the making!
When a little girl has doubts about the color of her skin, her mother shows her all the wonderful, beautiful things brown can be! “Brown is precious. Brown is feet marching for human rights…. Brown is an after-bedtime-story kiss goodnight.”
BROWN SUGAR BABE
Written by Charlotte Watson Sherman and Illustrated by Akem
Published by Astra Young Readers
A joyful collection of poems by the author of Mirror Mirror, in the form of recipes both simple and allegorical.
This delicious collection of poems by the innovative Marilyn Singer is accompanied by vibrant splashy artwork by two-time Caldecott honoree Marjorie Priceman. Presented in a small-size format to appeal to older readers (as well as young), the book has the look of a vintage collector’s compendium that includes pictures, ephemera and annotations to add interest.
Even young children are familiar with recipes–a series of steps to help them make something–and the book begins with simple dishes and ideas (such as a recipe for reading a recipe and a recipe for measuring), and then adds more ideas and grows in sophistication until the last recipes broach lofty concepts (such as a recipe for understanding and a recipe for peace). A treasure of words and images and ideas.