cover image Bookjoy, Wordjoy

Bookjoy, Wordjoy

Pat Mora, illus. by Raul Colón. Lee & Low, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62014-286-8

In this collection of loosely themed poems, including some previously published selections, Mora (Book Fiesta) expresses her full-on love of language and everything it can create—from libraries full of books (“We belong together,/ books and me/ like toast and jelly/ o queso y tortillas”) to wonderful mouthfeels and sounds (“I collect words... that have a brown scent, cinnamon,/ that sweetly stretch, car-a-mel”). A few of the poems branch out into tributes to nature or family; in Antelope Canyon, she writes of “dark crevices echoing water’s roar/ for millions of years.” Mora works mostly in tightly phrased free verse, save for one acrostic poem, and some selections blend Spanish and English in literal ways (“Slide into a river of music,/ Resbala a un rio de musica”). Her openhearted enthusiasm and sense of wonder is always evident and inviting, and there’s plenty of “you go, young poet” encouragement woven throughout the verses. The fanciful, poster-like images by Colón (Listen: How Pete Seeger Got America Singing), inspired by the radiant color work of Rufino Tamayo, match the verses’ earnestness and joy. Ages 6–12. (July)