cover image Jumping Off Library Shelves: A Book of Poems

Jumping Off Library Shelves: A Book of Poems

Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illus. by Jane Manning. Boyds Mills/Wordsong, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59078-924-7

Fifteen poems by writers including Nikki Grimes, J. Patrick Lewis, Alice Schertle, and Jane Yolen sing the praises of libraries and reading. In Cynthia S. Cotton’s “My Card,” a child brags about the power of his library card: “This may look/ like a plain,/ pocket-size/ piece of plastic,/ but it’s really/ a super-card,” says the boy, who Manning envisions as a cape-clad, larger-than-life superhero, triumphantly wielding his library card as he stands atop the world. Later, Hopkins pays lovely tribute to the storytelling prowess of esteemed librarian Augusta Baker: “And as her voice/ reaches/ the highest/ rafter—/ I believe in/ once-upon-a-time,/ I believe in/ happily ever after.” It’s a quiet, focused collection, one that will certainly find a home in libraries and in the homes of those who love them. Ages 5–up. (Sept.)