Friday, February 6, 2009

Module 1- Book Review- My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States

Hopkins, Lee Bennett, and Stephen Alcorn. 2000. My America: a poetry atlas of the United States. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. ISBN 0689812477


This anthology, a collection of poems celebrating America, ignites the imaginations of the young by delighting the senses. The poems are vivid and diverse yet balanced in quality. They vary in length ranging from a few sentences short to several verses long. They also differ in mood and tone from the silly and light-hearted “Idaho” by Kaye Starbird to the serious and dramatic Alabama Earth. Works from know poets (Florian, Hughes) as well as lesser known poets (Hubbell, Shields) are represented. Some of the poems are written in verse with rhyming schemes such as Anne LeMieux’s “Gulls and Buoys:”

Gulls swoop, gulls soar,
Flocking, flying, gulls galore,
Gulls wheel, gulls wing,
Clamorous chorus, gulls sing.
Gulls squawk, gulls screech
By the buoys, on the beach.
Gulls gather, gulls together,
Raucous caucus, birds of a feather.

While other poems are abstract and penned in free verse like “Cactus” by April Halprin Wayland:

“Don’t dare come near’”
it says

with spike

with spear

with crossbow
poised to pierce…


Hopkins’ My America is well organized and designed. The poems are group according to region (i.e. The Great Lakes States, The Southwest States). Beautiful casein paintings accompany and compliment each poem. The wonderful casein maps introduce the states of each region. A few brief facts on each state are also presented in the introduction. My America is a treasure to share with others.

1 comment:

  1. I was honored to have been included in this beautiful collection!

    new picture book coming in June:
    New Year at the Pier--A Rosh Hashanah Story (Dial)