Friday, January 12, 2007

Thanks a Million: a Poetry Friday book review

Thanks a Millions: Poems by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Cozbi S. Cabrera, is a wonderful collection of poems about gratitude for things large and small, and about the power that a simple "thank you" can contain.

The poems in this collection are in various forms. One, "Unspoken", is for two voices, and reflects the unspoken thanks of two siblings. Another is a rebus poem. Some rhyme, some don't, and there's even a haiku. The variety of forms make the book easy to read straight through.

"Dear Author" will knock the air right out of your lungs. Two pages later, "Weekends" will make you laugh out loud. "Scout's Honor" is a thank you to a friend who was the only one who didn't laugh when the "speaker" tripped in front of a crowd. And "Shelter" and "Shoe Surprise" take into account the very different family situations that some find themselves in, and will remind all readers not to take things for granted.

The illustrations echo the tone of the poems to which they're matched, with the illustration for "Shelter" showing a darkened silhouette of a family consisting of a mother and two children huddled together in a room of many cot-like beds, while some of the lighter poems have correspondingly lighter illustrations to accompany them.

For today, I'm thankful I found this wonderful book.

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