#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Books Early Readers Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Poetry Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] A Children’s Anthem For Change

"We all hear change strumming. Won't you sing along?" - Amanda Gorman.

Myra here.

Thank you to dear Irene Latham at Live Your Poem for hosting this week.

This year, we hope to feature books that fit any of the following criteria:

  1. Postcolonial literature and/or [pre/post] revolutionary stories
  2. Stories by indigenous / first-nation peoples / people of colour
  3. Narratives of survival and healing, exile and migration, displacement and dispossession
  4. Books written or illustrated by people who have been colonized, oppressed, marginalized

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem (Amazon | Book Depository)

Words by Amanda Gorman Illustrated by Loren Long
Published by Viking Books For Young Readers (2021) ISBN: 9780593203224 (ISBN10: 0593203224) Borrowed via Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

I loved Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, The Hill We Climb. Thus, when I found out late last year that she had a poetry picturebook out illustrated by no less than Loren Long, I immediately tried to find it, and was so delighted to see it on Overdrive.

The poem begins with the promise of something to come:

I can hear change humming

In its loudest, proudest song.

I don’t fear change coming,

And so I sing along.

What I especially find to be moving in this poem is that it acknowledges the difficulty in having this kind of change happen; there is a recognition that not all people would understand this song that is now in the air.

Yet there is also a quiet resolve and certitude that change will come, nonetheless. It also centralizes this change – not from somewhere outside of the self – but within one’s own actions because:

I’m the voice where freedom rings.

You’re the love your bright heart brings.

What a perfect read-aloud for young children in the classroom.

#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Update: 9 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

7 comments on “[Poetry Friday] A Children’s Anthem For Change

  1. Thank you, Myra! Yes, sometimes it takes a while to warm up to change… and even GOOD change requires some grieving… (remembering when we moved to the lake-where I wanted to be-but I still experienced several months’ depression. Change sings…. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. maryleehahn

    What a fabulous theme for 2022! And who better to start with than Amanda Gorman! YAY!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m looking forward to following what you read this year! Great start with Amanda Gorman! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Myra, change is difficult but so needed in this world right now. Amanda Gorman’s voice is full of promise. Thank you for always sharing books that call us to action.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The need for change is an important theme that we can never explore too much. Thanks for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I look forward to your picks! Amanda Gorman is amazing. “You’re the love your bright heart brings.” Such a beautiful rhythm, rhyme, alliteration in one line.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Laura Shovan

    Thank you for featuring this book, Myra. I’m looking forward to your decolonized reads. Are you including stories related to marginalized faith groups on your list?

    Liked by 1 person

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