Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Poetry Friday - Inspirational poems from around the world

For Poetry Friday I have a review of Come to the Great World: Poems from Around the Globe. This is a very special collection of poems that readers of all ages will enjoy.

Selected by Wendy Cooling
Illustrated by Sheila Moxley
5 to 8
Holiday House, 2004, 0823418227
All too often, children are encouraged to notice the differences that exist between different cultures, races, and nationalities. More often then not, left to their own devices, children will play with each other very easily even if they don’t share a common language and even if they don’t look alike. This collection of thirty-one poems was written by poets from “every corner of the earth,” and they “show what children share as well as reflecting the differences in their lives.”
Ross Falconer, who is from Australia, writes about the special “small world” where children live. It is a world that adults cannot enter because it has a wall around it that is twenty feet high, and “adults only have ten feet ladders.”
Gloria Guevra from Nicaragua tells us about “people in poverty,” and how children pick through the garbage in the town dump. You can hear the pain in her voice as she describes how the children fill old sacks “with rusty tins / worn-out shoes / bits of old cardboard boxes.” Teresa de Jesus’s voice is angry as she tells us that seeing poverty “makes me furious.” She perfectly captures the emotions many children experience when they see poverty. It simply makes no sense to them why poverty should exist.
With messages of hope and inspiration about the world’s problems and its riches, this collection of poems will give young readers a great deal to think about.

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