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Cover image for I am the book : poems
I am the book : poems
First Edition.
New York : Holiday House, [2011]
Publication Information (alt. graph.):
New York : Holiday House, �2011.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Quiet morning / Karen B. Winnick -- Wonder through the pages / Karla Kuskin -- What was that? / Rebecca Kai Dotlich -- When I read / Beverly McLoughland -- Pirates / Jill Corcoran -- Paperback plunder / Michele Krueger -- Poetry time / Lee Bennett Hopkins -- A poem is / Jane Yolen -- Don't need a window seat / Kristine O'Connell George -- Who's rich? / Naomi Shihab Nye -- This book / Avis Harley -- I am the book / Tom Robert Shields -- Book Amy Ludwig VanDerwater -- About the poets.
A book is a wonderful, magical treat. The thirteen poems in this collection encourage young readers to snuggle up with a story and stretch their imaginations, to splash in a sea of tales by day and swashbuckle through chapters late at night. Playful illustrations by Yayo compliment thought-provoking poems by Jane Yolen, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Naomi Shihab Nye, and others.


Call Number
J 811.54 I 2011

On Order



A book is a wonderful, magical treat. The thirteen poems in this collection encourage young readers to snuggle up with a story and stretch their imaginations, to splash in a sea of tales by day and swashbuckle through chapters late at night. With playful illustrations by Yayo and thought-provoking poems by Jane Yolen, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Naomi Shihab Nye, and others, readers will unlock a treasure trove of poems in this exuberant celebration of reading.

Author Notes

Lee Bennett Hopkins was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on April 13, 1938. Hopkins' education was rather sporadic, since he often had to care for his younger sister while his mother worked to support the family. As a child, Hopkins read little other than comic books and movie magazines until a teacher inspired in him a love of the theatre and, subsequently, of reading. Though Hopkins did well in his high school English courses, he did not enjoy other subjects and his grades in those were poor. Still, he had decided on an eventual career as a teacher and after graduating high school he began classes at the Newark State Teachers College, working several jobs in order to afford his tuition.

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1960, Hopkins began teaching sixth grade at a public school in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. In his third year at Westmoreland School in Fair Lawn he became the school's resource teacher. Through the principal at his own school, Hopkins obtained a scholarship to pursue a master's degree at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. While working toward this degree, which he received in 1964, Hopkins continued as Resource Teacher at Westmoreland. In 1966 he took a position as senior consultant for Bank Street College's new Learning Resource Center in the Harlem area of New York City. Hopkins also began writing articles on children's literature and the use of poetry in the classroom, which were published in journals such as Horn Book and Language Arts. With colleague Annette F. Shapiro he wrote Creative Activities for Gifted Children, his first book. In 1967 Hopkins received a Professional Diploma in Educational Supervision and Administration from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Racial tension following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 forced Hopkins and others to reluctantly leave Harlem. He then secured another position as a curriculum and editorial specialist at Scholastic, Inc. Hopkins' career as a writer progressed; more than two dozen of his books were published during his eight-years at Scholastic. In 1976 Hopkins quit his job at Scholastic in order to become a full- time writer and poetry anthologist. He has written or compiled more than seventy-five books for children and young adults, in addition to his professional texts and his numerous contributions to education and children's literature journals.

Apart from his many poetry anthologies and professional texts, Hopkins has also written young adult novels, children's stories, and non-fiction books for children. He hosted the fifteen-part children's educational television series Zebra Wings, and has also served as a literature consultant for Harper and Row's Text Division. Hopkins has won numerous honors and awards, including an honorary doctor of laws degree from Kean College in 1980 and the University of Southern Mississippi's Silver Medallion in 1989. His poetry autobiography, Been to Yesterdays, received both the Christopher Medal and a Golden Kite Honor. He has also received awards from Booklist, School Library Journal, The New York Times, The American Library Association and the American Booksellers Association. Hopkins founded the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award presented annually since 1993, and the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Reading Association Promising Poet Award presented every three years since 1995.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-A whimsical collection of 13 short poems, all celebrating books and reading. Many are by well-known authors like Naomi Shihab Nye and Jane Yolen, while others are by less-familiar poets. Overall, the quality of the selections is good. Karla Kuskin's "Wonder Through the Pages" is particularly strong; it ends, "the wisdom of wizards/The songs of the ages/All wonders of wandering/Wonderful pages." The accompanying picture shows a Venetian-style watery landscape, with a book for a gondola, a unicorn floating nearby, and a seawall of books in the background. The attractive and fanciful acrylic paintings feature exaggerated shapes and perspectives that go nicely with the flights of imagination depicted in the poems. Literature-loving adults will want to share this book with the young people in their lives.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lest we forget the magic of the printed page, this collection of poems by contemporary writers celebrates the joys of reading. "Early in the morning/ dog, book and me/ spend quiet moments/ just we three," writes Karen Winnick. In "Pirates," Jill Corcoran conveys a book-inspired imaginative journey: "I storm/ toward shackled screams/ of a kidnapped damsel./ I swashbuckle through my book's/ CHAPTER TWO." In Yayo's acrylic spreads, an open book becomes a whale's tail, a treasure box, and a drifting raft, emphasizing the transformative potential of words. Tom Robert Shields's title poem underscores the message: "I'll plant in you/ a spring-seedling/ with bursting life/ while you are reading./ I am the book/ You are needing." Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

From the title page, where we see someone looking into the window of a book-shaped house, we know we're in for a celebration of books. Each posterlike spread is a richly illustrated visual metaphor for that poem (a book that is a raft, one that's a treasure chest, etc.). Those celebrating Poetry Month will find much to enjoy in this up-with-reading collection. (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

In a whole that definitely doesn't measure up to the sum of its parts, this sadly uneven collection opens with six inventive celebrations in which books and water are interwoven themes. It closes with five landlocked tributes to bookishness and shoehorns in between one off-topic contribution by Hopkins and another by Jane Yolen. Eight of the 13 poems are new, and all (of the relevant ones) share a sense of excitement at, as Karla Kuskin puts it, "all wonders of wandering / wonderful pages," from Beverly McLoughland's soothing "ebb and flow of tidal words / Easy under me," to the soaring promise in Tom Robert Shield's title poem: "I'll plant in you / a spring-seedling / with bursting life / while you are reading. / I am the book / You are needing." Yayo gamely tries to provide at least an impression of unity with a typically lighthearted series of sea- and beachscapes with books taking on such roles as a whale's tail and an entire ocean, but several of the poems just don't lend themselves to that sort of setting. A poor successor to Hopkins' Good Books, Good Times (1990), flawed by a lack of cohesive vision and particularly by Yolen's sour "Words that take / a thought, / a wish, / a sentiment, / a prayer, / and then suck out / all the air." (Picture book/poetry. 8-10)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

In this picture-book collection from veteran anthologist Hopkins, 13 well-known children's poets celebrate how books can take readers on wild adventures (I storm / toward shackled screams / of a kidnapped damsel), as well as how plain words can reveal the surprising drama in ordinary things, even the rhyming sounds of a clock: tick-tock / ding-dong / bing-bong. Karla Kuskin speaks about the wonders of wandering / wonderful pages and the nonsense and knowledge that come tumbling out. And in another selection, Kristine O'Connell George writes, riding home from the library, / don't need a window seat. / Got a great new book to read, / eleven more beneath my feet. The whimsical, light-toned acrylic artwork extends the metaphors with witty, fantastical transformations of books: in one scene, a dark-blue book cover becomes an ocean, where you can dive in the sea of words and swim. Fun for sharing with preschoolers, this will also spark discussion in grade-school writing and art classes. Notes about each poet are appended.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist