I Am Loved: A Poetry Collection by Nikki Giovanni, illustrations by Ashley Bryan

Published by Atheneum

Summary:  In 11 short poems, Nikki Giovanni expresses love, both for the reader and for the simple everyday pleasures surrounding him or her.  Wildflowers, cats, and quilts are all celebrated.  In “No Heaven”, she asks how there can be no heaven when there is so much to appreciate all around.  “A Song of Blackbird” looks at how we describe people and remember them when they’re gone.  “I Am a Mirror” comes with a mylar mirror for the reader to reflect on, and mentions the auction block and middle passage.  The final poem, “Do the Rosa Parks” is a catchy song that encourages readers to sit down with those who are suffering and stand up to injustice.  32 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  Award winners Giovanni and Bryan team up for a perfect introduction to poetry for the youngest readers, illustrated in Bryan’s trademark colorful folk-inspired paintings.

Cons:  The mylar mirror may not survive repeated library use.

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