Sylvia Vardell

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Review of Maya’s Song

Maya’s Song by Renée Watson ; illus. by Bryan Collier Primary, Intermediate     Harper/HarperCollins    48 pp.       g9/22     978-0-06-287158-9     $19.99 In free-verse poems, Watson describes key experiences in Maya Angelou’s life. She highlights influential family members, such as Maya’s brother (a source of strength) and Momma (grandmother...

A Place for Poetry

Poetry has so much to offer young readers: beautiful language, musical rhythms, creative formats, powerful emotions, and so much more. Yet, when it comes to award recognition, poetry has rarely had a place at the Newbery table. Just sixteen books of poetry have been recognized with Newbery Medals or Honors...

Dear Treefrog

Dear Treefrog gives us another wonderful collection of nature-themed poems by Joyce Sidman, but this time she has created a kind of novella in verse for the younger reader, with a story emerging across the spare, lyrical poems. With illustrations by Diana Sudyka that bridge the natural and the fantastical,...

Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story

I often say that a nonfiction picture book for children is the best introduction to a new subject for readers of any age, especially when the illustrations are as richly informative as the text, and that is true for me about great horned owls and Maria Gianferrari’s Whoo-Ku Haiku: A...

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