Monday, April 30, 2012

New world poetry for Día 2012

In honor of El día de los niños/El día de los libros/ Children's day/Book Day today, I'd like to highlight three books from outside the U.S.

Argueta, Jorge. 2012. Guacamole; Un poema para cocinar/ A Cooking Poem. Ill. by Margarita Sada. Toronto: Groundwood.

From the publisher, Groundwood Books: "Jorge Argueta’s third book in our bilingual cooking poem series is — Guacamole — with very cute, imaginative illustrations by Margarita Sada.

Guacamole originated in Mexico with the Aztecs and has long been popular in North America, especially in recent years due to the many health benefits of avocados. This version of the recipe is easy to make, calling for just avocados, limes, cilantro and salt. A little girl dons her apron, singing and dancing around the kitchen as she shows us what to do. Poet Jorge Argueta sees beauty, magic and fun in everything around him — avocados are like green precious stones, salt falls like rain, cilantro looks like a little tree and the spoon that scoops the avocado from its skin is like a tractor.

As in the previous cooking poems, Guacamole conveys the pleasure of making something delicious and healthy to eat for people you really love. A great book for families to enjoy together."

Here is the cutest book trailer for Guacamole complete with a foot-tapping song to enjoy!

Be sure to check out his other bilingual "food" poetry collections:
Argueta, Jorge. 2009. Sopa de frijoles/ Bean Soup. Ill. by Rafael Yockteng. Toronto, ON: Groundwood.
Argueta, Jorge. 2010. Arroz con leche; Rice Pudding. Ill. by Fernando Vilela. Toronto, ON: Groundwood.

Luján, Jorge. 2012. Con el sol en los ojos/ With the Sun in My Eyes. Ill. by Morteza Zahedi. Toronto: Groundwood.

From Groundwood: "In this book of short poems in Spanish and English, a young boy and girl describe their world and their day-to-day experiences -- the boy's street is like the trunk of an almond tree and the newborn chicks are like tiny walking suns. The girl loves her dog Oliver, the wind hitting her in the face and laughter "that explodes for no reason." But the children also ponder mysteries, such as the loud silence the boy hears inside himself when he goes for a walk alone and the vast beauty of the sky, with its clouds and constellations.

Once again Jorge Luján brings young readers a lyrical and joyful collection of poems. Morteza Zahedi's powerful illustrations in densely saturated colors perfectly complement the poems' subtle explorations."

I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail. Ill. by Ramsingh Urveti. 2012. London: Tara Books.

From Tara Books: "A well-known folk poem from 17th century England, 'I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail' is a form of trick verse. The poem at first seems nonsensical, but given a break in the middle of each line begins to make perfect sense.

In this pioneering visual exploration of I Saw a Peacock, Gond tribal artist Ramsingh Urveti and book designer Jonathan Yamakami use art and design in the service of language. Working together, revealing and concealing, they brilliantly mirror the shifting ways in which poetry creates meaning."

This book is truly exquisite in art, design, and construction-- but it's also elegant and simple and kid-friendly. The lines of the poem curl this way and that through multiple pages across the blue-black-white palette of the die cut pages.

It begins:

I saw a peacock with a fiery tail
I saw a blazing comet drop down hail
I saw a cloud with ivy circled around
I saw a sturdy oak creep on the ground

Get it? The playful nature of the lines and how they are tucked into the art beg for repeated examination. The thick pages cut with holes and curves and stars offers a tactile experience that takes the simple poem to another level. It's hard to describe adequately, so I urge you to get your own copy, share it with a 10 year old you love, and see what happens. It's the best paper "app" you'll find this year-- read it multiple times, backwards and forwards, talking about the lines, the art, the pages, and making up your own imitation poems!

Happy El día de los niños/El día de los libros/ Children's day/Book Day one and all!

And I've already highlighted the following collection in the 5Q interview series-- it also includes a global selection of poets:

Hoyte, Carol-Ann and Roemer, Heidi Bee. Eds. 2012. And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems. Ill. by Kevin Sylvester. Neche, ND: Friesens Press.

Image credit: 

Groundwood, Tara Books

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2012. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Esperanza said...

They sound great. Multicultural books for Día and every day, thanks.