The vibrant browns are almost audible. You can hear children running for gingerbread cookies. You can feel the water splash against your skin as Grandma soaks yucca leaves. Malathi Michelle Iyengar will get your child excited about family and culture in her collection of poems, Tan To Tamarind: Poems About The Color Brown (Children’s Book Press, $16.95). These poems offer a wonderful way to strengthen your child’s identity or introduce them to a colorful array of difference. Brown is so lively. Ages 6-12.
Each of Lee Bennett Hopkins’s deliciously simple poems praises the hustle and bustle of life in a City I Love (Abrams $16.95). The rhymes and rhythms capture the pulse of urban existence and Marcellus Hall’s illustrations of cities around the world provide a refreshing melange of perspectives. Whether it’s a dog looking up at skyscrapers, or a bird looking down from a ledge, the pictures and poems inspire admiration for cityscapes and city dwellers. Ages 4-10.
Langston Hughes’s thirty-three word poem My People (Atheneum, $17.99) is a joyous celebration of being African American. Charles R. Smith Jr.’s black-and-white photographs of African Americans, from newborns to elderly, from light-skinned to dark-skinned movingly illustrate the many faces of Hughes’s people today. Ages 2 up.