Friday, November 19, 2010

Poetry Friday - A review of Poems in Black and White

At this time of year in Oregon, there is an abundance of brilliant color all around. There are the yellow, gold, and red leaves on the trees, orange pumpkins that get turned into pies and soup, and glowing red, yellow, orange, and purple chrysanthemums sitting in pots. For today's Poetry Friday title, I have chosen to review a poetry collection in which the poet looks at the world through eyes that see only in black and white.

Kate Miller
Poetry Picture Book
Ages 8 to 12
Boyds Mills Press, 2007, 978-1-59078-412-9
   We live in a world that is full of color, so much color in fact that there are times when we miss noticing the amazing things around us that are black and white. Though the richness of color is missing, the sharp contrasts that you see with black and white images can be very striking and memorable.
   For this picture book, Kate Miller has created seventeen poems that look at black and white scenes or images. She begins with the black prints of a baby’s feet on a piece of white paper. There are “two tapered soles / of elfin size” on the paper that are only a few minutes old, but that are already “adventure bound.”
   We also visit Miss Fitzgibbon’s blackboard, which is covered with math problems, the names of the planets, reminders, and other notes. On the board we see the “outlines of / A blackboard memory / Preserved in molecules of chalk.”
   Then there is a portrait of “my mother’s hair,” which is “satin black / except for one small / patch of white.” As she looks at that little patch of white, she can imagine what her mother will look like when she is no longer young.
   With beautiful black and white illustrations to accompany each poem, Kate Miller gives her readers a very special poetical treat. 

1 comment:

Sheila said...

This book sounds lovely. Black and white illustrations can offer a different view of the world. Thanks for the review. Boyds Mills Press deserves extra credit for continuing to publish poetry collections.