Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks By Suzanne Slade & Cozbi A. Cabrera

Back of Book:
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000) is known for her poems about “real life.” She wrote about love, loneliness, family, and poverty—showing readers how just about anything could become a beautiful poem. Exquisite follows Gwendolyn from early girlhood into her adult life, showcasing her desire to write poetry from a very young age. This picture-book biography explores the intersections of race, gender, and the ubiquitous poverty of the Great Depression—all with a lyrical touch worthy of the subject. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize, receiving the award for poetry in 1950. And in 1958, she was named the poet laureate of Illinois.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Abrahms Kids Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
April is National Poetry Month and Gwendolyn Brooks poetry is truly one of a kind. Suzanne Slade captured the life and hardships of Gwendolyn in a tender and lyrical format. Readers are swept up in a time where people were not rich with things, instead, they were rich in words, and experiences. Gwendolyn constantly strived to work harder, and write better. She eventually would become the first Black person to win a Pulitzer Prize. Suzanne told Gwendolyn’s story in a way that young readers would appreciate, and understand. I loved how she tied pieces of poetry within the pages. The illustrations match the title of the book and are truly exquisite! The shades of color and texture jump off the pages. The back of the book shares more information with readers about the life of Brooks. It includes a timeline and a black and white photo of Gwendolyn.
This book is a winner in every way and should be a part of every poetry unit.
Ages 6 and up
48 Pages

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