This book was originally published in 2008 but I was pleasantly surprised by it.
HIP HOP SPEAKS TO CHILDREN: A CELEBRATION OF POETRY WITH A BEAT is a collection put together for Sourcebooks by Nikki Giovanni. It is a collection that believes children will be more drawn to poetry by beat. It also uses some song lyrics as poetry from artists young readers (or listeners) might’ve recognized in 2008 (and might still recognize today). I cannot begin to describe the motley assortment of poets and artists that are in this collection. I admit I was drawn by poems by Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, but was also amazed to find Queen Latifah and Tupac Shakur. There’s also a bunch of illustrators who worked on this book as well (five different ones all credited in the copyrights).
Even better, there’s a CD included and oh my goodness! I had NEVER heard Langston Hughes read his poetry before and I was blown away to hear his voice on this CD. And hearing what inspired him to write “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”? What a treasure!
It should come as no surprise then that I want to share one of his poems. I considered sharing it at Valentine’s day this year, but I didn’t. I saved it. I loved the way it was illustrated by Damian Ward.
And if you’re looking for more poetry fun this month, be sure to check out the Kidlitosphere Event Roundup!