Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Poetry Pick: Changes: A Child's First Poetry Collection

Changes: A Child's First Poetry Collection
Poems by Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrations by Tiphanie Beeke
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
40 pages
ISBN: 978149260168

Available April 1, 2015
(originally published in 1967)

Changes: A Child's First Poetry Collection celebrates the changing of the seasons through the eyes of a child. A child experiences: wonder at the first snowflake, the silence of that first night snowfall, the cold, clean bite of the snow or the first crocus peeking out or picking violets or  a Japanese beetle up close and marveling at his rainbow of colors. A fly lands on the page of a book and instead of swatting it away, the reader watches as the fly stays on just one word.

Some of the poems are remarkably short in length but what they lack in length they make up in strength.  The poem "Crocus" is only three lines long yet contains a simile and personification in just ten words! The book begins with spring and closes with a poem reminiscing on a grandfather's love and the passage of time. The seasons cycle each year yet each year brings the same: the same warm summer breezes, the same wildflowers and birds, the sky brings the same stars, the moon still shines as brightly, and we--all of us--both children and adults remember the seasons and the passage of time.

Beautiful artwork by Tiphanie Beeke celebrate each poem and evoke strong memories of happiness, family and home. Even a child who has never experienced snow can experience the cold bite of it from the winter poems. A child who has never been to the beach can experience it from the beach-y illustrations.

Charlotte Zolotow's 100th birthday would have been in 2015, so it is profoundly fitting that her book of poetry for children will celebrate this important milestone. She influenced children's publishing as both a publisher and a writer.

Highly, highly recommended for young readers and poetry buffs. This book could easily be used to teach several elements of figurative language. Poetry need not be bombastic and grandiloquent. Sometimes less is more; in this case, much, much more. In this "simple" book of children's poetry, truth lives. This is a book I love!

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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