cover image I Am Loved

I Am Loved

Nikki Giovanni, illus. by Ashley Bryan. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5344-0492-2

In 11 poems, a mix of new and previously published work, Giovanni celebrates open-ended and affirming love. Some invoke love directly (“I wrote a poem/ for you because/ you are/ my little boy,” begins the opening poem, “Because”), others obliquely: in “Quilts,” an old tablecloth seeks new life: “When I am frayed and stained and drizzled at the end/ Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt/ That I might keep some child warm.” Newbery Honor–winner Bryan paints African-American men, women, and children in thick, swirling compositions suggestive of stained glass; he makes room for an embedded mirror to accompany a poem that addresses readers directly: “I reflect the strengths/ Of my people/ And for that alone/ I am loved.” A joyful and broad reflection of love’s many faces. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)