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Pass It on: African-American Poetry for…

Pass It on: African-American Poetry for Children

by Wade Hudson

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“Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children”, with poems selected by Wade Hudson, was an excellent book. Not only does it tackle tough issues through intricately-worded poems, it also honors the oral tradition of poetry, which has been passed on by ancestors from Africa. The main message/idea of this book is to keep African American history and traditions alive through poetry. This book includes poems that deal with racism, hopes/dreams, identity, family, and freedom. As a fan of poetry, I think that the poems in this book were perfectly selected and I enjoyed reading all of them. They vary in language—some descriptive, some patterned, and some clear and concise. However, one thing all the poems had in common were believable, and sometimes real-life, characters. More often than not, the characters were young children. I think that this makes the entire book more relatable to the audience. The book was illustrated by Floyd Cooper. I really enjoyed the illustrations and think that they gave life to the poems, without taking away from the poem itself. Throughout the book, my favorite poem was “I Can” by Mari Evans. I liked this poem the most because it instilled a sense of hope and motivation in the reader. It begins with: “I can be anything, I can do anything, I can think anything”. The language used in this poem was, clearly, patterned. The illustration to go with it is a little girl sitting in what look like the Oval Office. I like that this illustration was used because it drives the point of the poem home. ( )
  marmig2 | Apr 8, 2015 |
Pierce College Library
  SWong4512 | May 28, 2014 |
I liked the book, "Pass it On" by Wade Hudson and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. One thing that I liked was that the author included an introduction about why poetry is important, especially in African American culture. I think that this introduction helped to highlight the central message of the book, which is that poetry is a great way to talk about African American culture and that it can be used to pass on messages and experiences to African American children. I also liked how the illustrations covered the whole page. By having the illustrations cover the whole page, the illustrations were more eye-catching and helped me as reader connect the poem more to a visual. Also, the author's use of spacing was great in this book. For example, the phrase, "When night comes on gently,
Dark like me-." I like how the author separated the first part of the phrase from the second part of the phrase by having one part of the phrase be on another line of the page. I think that by using this spacing the author emphasized the fact that the speaker was African American, which is an important piece of information to know about the poem. Another thing that I like about this book is that the titles of each poem indirectly relate to the central message of each poem. I think that by having each title indirectly relate to the message of each poem, the reader can get a sense of what they are going to read about before they start reading. ( )
  abreck2 | Oct 15, 2013 |
This book give poetry about African-American Poetry with illustrations to go with each poem. ( )
  sammarocco | Nov 4, 2012 |
This book is a collection of poems by African American authors. The art in this book is very nice and very detailed. I enjoyed looking at the pictures.
"To Catch a Fish" is about a little boy trying to catch a fish. It explains that you must be patient to catch a fish. The little boy just wants to hurry up and catch a fish, but that is simply not the way that things are done in fishing.
"Wait Little Joe" is about a little boy who is small but wants to the things that the big kids are doing. The big kids keep telling him that he is only 4 years old and he needs to be bigger to join in on what they are doing. Poor little Joe does not want to wait.

I did not like all the poems in this book. They did not rhyme and I had a hard time keeping my attention focused on the poems. I had to read each poem at least 2-3 times before I could even understand what I had just read.

Classroom Activity #1: This book would be used during black history month. Each day I would read a new poem to the calss. I would not show them the pictures. I would let them use their imagination and draw their own pictures to interpet the poem.

Classroom Activity #2: The students would be asked to pick their favorite poem from the book and write a paragraph over what made that poem their favorite.
  MaryLCarney | Oct 17, 2012 |
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An illustrated collection of poetry by such Afro-American poets as Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Eloise Greenfield, and Lucille Clifton.

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