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Monday, April 22, 2013

Dare to Dream...Change the World, edited by Jill Corcoran and illustrated by J. Beth Jepson. Kane Miller, 2012. $18.95 ages 8 and up

"The thing about Ashley Bryan
is that
when he takes your hand
all those pieces come together
like a found art puppet
like cut-paper collage
like a thing called

           -Julia Durango

Many people throughout history have brought change to our world. Each person included in this lovely new book of poetry is profiled in a biographical poem that provides a glimpse at one shining moment in their life. The poem is followed by a concise paragraph concerning that moment and accompanied by another poem that is related to its message. In one instance, the poem concerns Nicholas Cobb and is written by David Harrison. We learn that Nicholas seeing a family living under a bridge inspired him to raise money for the homeless and to found Comfort and Joy which donates coats and other necessary items to those in dire straits. Jane Yolen adds a poem about bridges and those who live under them, be they trolls, hobos, or families. Inspiring, to say the least.

Thirty poets contributed their work, subjects are wide-ranging and the poetry is varied in form, engaging and thoughtful;

"Besides, I add:
Just because I can't shoot
Or dribble
Or jump,
And I make syrup look speedy,
Doesn't mean I don't deserve to play, Girl.
And before Jessica Z can close her mouth, or kill me
I hop off the bench.
And get my slow, smiling self to mid-court to strut my stuff."

Some of the 'changers' will be familiar to readers, others will not. Each is worthy of our attention and I am hopeful that the poems and paragraphs will encourage further investigation of that person's accomplishments. They are a worthy group!

Of the grace that inspired Julia Durango to describe Ashley Bryan, Tracie Vaughan Zimmer says:

"It's bitter words swallowed
before they push past
the gates of angry lips.
It's a back turning
a head shaking
a refusal to hear
an ugly rumor,
a compromising joke,

The artwork varies in pattern, perspective and the vibrancy of color. Each one of the illustrations adds a link from poem, to person, to poem and will attract attention to the images created, while providing background. They show courage, pride and power while enhancing the poetry of the text.

Once you have read their stories, you may be inspired to dare to dream a dream that has up until now been indistinct. You might even change the world with your actions!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for mentioning Nicholas Cobb in your review. He's a wonderful example of young people today who are making a difference. I thought he deserved to be in the book. All the best, David