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Life on the Deckle Edge

Amazing Faces

Tomorrow kicks off a week of "Random Acts of Publicity" in the children's lit world, thanks to Darcy Pattison (our keynote speaker for the SCBWI Southern Breeze fall conference, by the way). See http://www.darcypattison.com/pr-notes/random-acts/

I have too many authors to brag about for just one week, so I'm stretching it out for the next month or so. I'd actually like to usher in all this fun with a poetry anthology just out this summer. Lee Bennett Hopkins's AMAZING FACES (Lee and Low), illustrated by the award-winning Chris Soentpiet, amazing himself, lives up to its title.

Opening with "Amazing Face" by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, celebrating the joy of an adopted baby, and closing with Langston Hughes's stirring "My People," the collection of sixteen poems offers insights into various lives, from babyhood to old age. Sontpiet's light-drenched paintings reflect such joy and dignity you will find yourself smiling back at them. Text and art are so perfectly suited, what shines through even more than the gorgeous, different colors of skin are the shared experiences of humanity.

Nikki Grimes ("Miss Stone") and Jude Mandell ("I'm the One") capture that poignant loneliness that accompanies childhood, and Janet S. Wong ("Living Above Good Fortune") and Lee Bennett Hopkins ("Hamburger Heaven") describe older kids on the brink of discovery. Prince Redcloud's "A Young Soldier" will cause a catch in your throat in a few short words, and you will wish you could sit at the knee of Joseph Bruchac's "Aunt Molly Sky" and J. Patrick Lewis's "Abuela." But you must read all of the poems in the book to fully appreciate it!

This volume will be treasured by kids and adults alike, frequently flying off library shelves.

Stay tuned this month for interviews with some amazing authors, and, in the meantime, delight in this amazing anthology!

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