cover image School People

School People

Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illus. by Ellen Shi. Wordsong, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62979-703-8

Fifteen previously unpublished poems by as many authors praise familiar figures at school. Aside from Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s opening entry, written from the perspective of the school building, the poems—odes, really—unfold in the voices of students. The narrator of J. Patrick Lewis’s poem marvels at his mother’s accomplishments (“Who could ever guess/ that my School Principal/ would... also be the Principal of me?”). Darren Sardelli describes a kindly custodian (“He keeps our building neat and clean,/ yet—this man is rarely seen!”), and Irene Latham’s music teacher “walks in music, like morning rain:/ drip-drop, pitter-patter, boot-stomp, splash!” Shi’s warm digital images infuse adults and children with personality in a vibrant tribute to trusted staffers and educators, many of whom go unnoticed or underappreciated. Ages 5–8. Illustrator’s agent: Anne Moore Armstrong, Bright Group. (Feb.)