Review of Hope Is an Arrow: The Story of Lebanese American Poet Kahlil Gibran

Hope Is an Arrow: The Story of Lebanese American Poet Kahlil Gibran Hope Is an Arrow: The Story of Lebanese American Poet Kahlil Gibran
by Cory McCarthy; illus. by Ekua Holmes
Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.   g
6/22    978-1-5362-0032-4    $18.99

In this picture-book biography, readers are introduced to artist and poet Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931), whose work The Prophet is one of the most widely translated books of poetry ever published. McCarthy takes readers from Gibran’s childhood in politically fraught Lebanon; to his immigration to the U.S. and adolescence in Boston, where he missed his home (“Deep is your longing for the land of your memories”) and where his talent as an artist was first noticed; to his return to Lebanon to study, where he began his journey as a poet. Inserting lines and stanzas from The Prophet throughout, McCarthy highlights the moments and episodes of Gibran’s life that seem to have influenced his work. Holmes’s (Dream Street, rev. 9/21) collage and acrylic illustrations work well to highlight the contrasting settings of Lebanon and Boston of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries; her art is particularly stunning in the opening pages that depict Gibran’s childhood days. Extensive source notes do much of the work fleshing out this biography by providing additional information about Gibran’s life and work; also appended is a brief bibliography.

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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