As most of you may already know, we are doing a throwback reading theme as well as giving much-deserved love to CYBILS nominees/finalists/winners for 2014 and earlier.
I have already featured Hi, Koo by Jon Muth and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming several weeks ago. And today, I am glad to share the fleeting sparkles of Firefly July – one of the seven finalists for the poetry category in #CYBILS 2014. Thanks to Paul Hankins of These 4 Corners for hosting this week.
Who would have thought that a compilation of very short poems across the seasons could be so delectable? This is the kind of magic that Paul Janeczko manages to evoke in these 36 sparkles divided across the four seasons of the year. I marveled at Janeczko’s selections and how each one seemed to feed on the other, creating a trail of fleeting, transient beauty that captures a mood, a feeling, the smell of rain. In less than ten lines, these poems nudged me to read again and again and again, allowing me to discover layers of depth and understanding that I literally gasped out loud with the joy of discovery. This is one of my favourites:
Melissa Sweet’s love for typography is clearly evident as she seamlessly interweaves words with imagery, that they seem more like codes and cues than text – such celebration of beauty, art, colour, texture, and movement. See the precarious beauty of fall:
and the elongated frosty feel of bare-branched winter:
Melissa Sweet is a genius, clearly. There is so much joy here that portrays the power of poetry without it being overwhelming or threatening to a young child who is just learning the craft. This book shows that a poem does not necessarily have to be long to capture a fleeting glance, a stray thought, a wrinkled memory. Here’s another one of my favourites from the book. I hope you enjoy it dear poetry-loving friends.
May we all find what we’re looking for.
Firefly July: A Year Of Very Short Poems selected by Paul Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Published by Candlewick Press, 2014. Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
Winner of the New England Independent Booksellers Association 2014 New England Book Award in the Children’s Category, CYBILS Finalist for Poetry 2014