Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HIP HOP SPEAKS TO CHILDREN edited by Nikki Giovanni

I have always been a huge fan of Nikki Giovanni. Her poetry books were some of the first I had in my classroom. Her newest book, HIP HOP SPEAKS TO CHILDREN: A CELEBRATION OF POETRY WITH A BEAT may be my favorite yet. I just received a review copy and spent quit a bit of time with it. It is quite fun and packed with great poetry with a beat. The book is due out on October 1 and I imagine people will be scrambling to get copies as soon as they can.

These are the things I love about the books:

-The poetry has a beat and I love poetry with a beat. So much fun to read and play with.
-Some of my favorite poets have pieces in this collection--Eloise Greenfield, Nikki Grimes, Maya Angelou, Walter Dean Myers
-There is a GREAT CD that goes along with the book. 30 of the poems are included on the CD. Many are read by the poets. Others are read by performers.
-The illustrations are gorgeous. So many illustrators and looks that seem to match the poems. Each page stands alone as its own work of art.
-I love the variety of the poems, the illustrations, and the audio. There is something to hook everyone to the book.
-I love the size. It is a pretty big poetry book. One with lots packed in it. You know when you pick it up, that it is filled with beat and depth.
-Nikki Giovanni shares her vision for the book and the history and importance of hip-hop as the introduction. Such a reminder of how powerful words have been throughout history.

Love this book. I think it is a K-8 must-have for classrooms and libraries. Like I said it is packed and it may be (at first) intimidating to young readers. But, once they hear some of the audio, spend time with the illustrations, and experience some of the poetry, I think it will become a favorite.

Other reviews:
Nikki Giovanni shares her thoughts on the collection on this video.
Amy Bowlan of School Library Journal includes Giovanni's video clip in her review also.
Jennie at Biblio File
Becky at Becky's Book


  1. Oddly, I read this post under the beatific gaze of Prof. Giovanni herself - her READ poster is on the wall here at the library.

  2. I got my copy of this book TODAY! great finding by the way. Loving this book as well!

  3. I am sold and I LOVE finding new poetry. You make things so easy for me. Thanks!

  4. I was able to get my copy through amazon. It came to my house last week.


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