cover image Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Nikki Giovanni. Scholastic, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-590-47074-2

Giovanni's brief poem about summertime in the rural South makes for a sunny picture book. An African American girl moves like a gentle breeze through Johnson's lush and warmly lit oil paintings as she describes and partakes of such seasonal fare as fresh sweet corn, homemade ice cream and ``lots of barbecue and buttermilk.'' The very short text here forces a reliance on mood and tone, with great success. The renowned poet's vivid writing features a graceful use of universal images and emotions that may stir the reader's memories. Johnson's artwork extends Giovanni's words, depicting verdant fields in crisp contrast to white houses and dresses. A church picnic never looked so tasty. All ages. (Feb.)