The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects

Selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illus. by Chris Raschka. Candlewick, $17.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6963-8
Janeczko and Raschka’s stellar fourth poetry collaboration, following A Poke in the I and other acclaimed titles, presents a chronological “history” of the development of poetry, from the Middle Ages to the present. The highlighted poems are, ostensibly, about objects, but a cigar is rarely just a cigar. Janeczko’s selections and Raschka’s characteristically airy illustrations let readers uncover layers of meaning, possibility, and emotion in poems from Rumi, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Pablo Neruda, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and others. Janeczko’s substantial introduction gives an overview of poetry’s evolution over the centuries, yet works like Lord Byron’s “A Riddle, on the Letter E” resonate powerfully on their own: “The beginning of eternity, the end of time and space,/ The beginning of every end, and the end of every place.” Ages 8–12. Illustrator’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/09/2015
Release date: 03/10/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 80 pages - 978-0-7636-9968-0
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