Out of Wonder is by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Majory Wentworth, illustrated by Ekua Holmwa. This book celebrates and honors 20 poets by “adopting their style, extending their idea, and offering gratitude to their wisdom and inspiration”. The famous poets include Robert frost, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Emily Dickinson. It encourages poetry by highlighting its exploration of creativity and the freedom that comes with writing.
The poems are separated by three parts: 1. Got Style?, In Your Shoes, and Thank You. Got Style? celebrates the unique styles and rhythms allowed in poetry such as Nikki Giovanni using lowercase letters at the beginning of sentences. It also pays tribute to Langston Hughes with a poem that describes his parents’ musical talents helping them paying the rent.
The In Your Shoes section is about incorporating the feelings and common themes of the poets. The poem celebrating Emily Dickinson is about roses (a common theme of her poetry was flowers).
The last part, Thank You, emphasizes how these poets have positively impacted people with their words. One poem includes positive words of encouragement gained from Maya Angelou such as “Be brave” and “Know your beauty”.
The book includes biographies of all the poets at the end. The illustrations were done in collage on paper and are vibrant, colorful and vary in beautiful styles. Some feature people and various scenes, and others expand on the objects discussed in the poem. This book would be great to inform children about poetry. It exposes to them various styles and poets from different centuries with positive, inspiring messages.
- Jamaria Southward