THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
April 12, 2016

Friday, October 12, 2012

Poetry Friday: I and I Bob Marley

This month, I am featuring the children's books of poet Tony Medina, who teaches at Washington, DC's Howard University.

Before the presidential election, Tony's newest book for kids will be released: The President Looks Like Me. He'll be stopping by (Tony Medina, not the President) for an interview on November 2.

Last week, we looked at Tony's verse biography of poet Langston Hughes, Love to Langston.

This week, let's look inside another Medina picture book biography, I and I Bob Marley. It's a must have for reggae fans -- those of us who sang "Three Little Birds," and other Marley favorites to our kids in lieu of lullabyes. But I also love I and I Bob Marley because it's a great biography. I learned much about Jamaica, Marley's life, and reggae music that I hadn't known before.

The cover, by Jesse Joshua Watson

The illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson are beautifully rich, pairing realistic faces with saturated jewel tones in the landscapes and backgrounds.

Here is the Lee & Low book trailer for I and I Bob Marley.



Lee & Low also has a book talk with Tony Medina and artist Jesse Joshua Watson that's worth reading.

By the way, the deadline (10/31) is coming up for Lee & Low's New Visions Award for a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel by a writer of color. 

Medina talking about his verse biography of Bob Marley.


My favorite poem in I and I Bob Marley is "Hope Road." Here is an excerpt.

Hope Road
by Tony  Medina

Music comes to me like birds knocking on my window
filling me with songs in a nest of  love singing at my window

I greet it with words that in my mind roam free and in my heart
find home like a windswept leaf scratching along my window

Music is a big old rusty sardine can I turn into a guitar
a dream I grab onto like a star shining outside my window

To read the rest, you'll have to buy (or borrow) the book!

Next week, I'll take a brief break from Tony Medina's children's books to preview another biography for children, Catherine Reef's The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily and Anne -- also due out this month. Then, we'll finish out October with Medina's DeShawn Days.

Enjoy your Poetry Friday. I'll see you off to our host, Betsy at Teaching Children Poetry with those Three Little Birds.


9 comments:

Andromeda Jazmon Sibley said...

OK I am stuck here for the rest of the day listening to Marley. THANK YOU! I am looking forward to the interview with Medina.

Author Amok said...

Not a bad way to spend a Friday, Andi. Thanks for stopping by.

jama said...

That excerpt is wonderful. Definitely gotta see this book now ! Beautiful art too. Can't wait to hear more about Medina's newest book.

Diane Mayr said...

I love this series you're doing with Dr. Medina. My son is the one who introduced me to Bob Marley many years ago. I've become a fan.

Glen Jordan Spangler said...

Tony Medina and I both went to Baruch College, City University of New York, and in 1989 and 1990 he wrote several opinion pieces for the school paper (The Ticker). Search "Tony Medina" here and they'll come up: http://ticker.baruch.cuny.edu/articles/search

Author Amok said...

Hi, Jama and Diane. It's a fascinating book -- full of good information. The poems show growth in Marley's voice and personality through his life.

Glen, thanks for stopping by! I will check out those opinion pieces. Thanks for sharing the link.

iza said...

I am a big Bob Marley fan, and the book is gorgeous. Can't wait to read it! Thanks!

Betsy said...

The book looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing all of this today!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Now I shall have to buy this book....and dig out my Marley records (yes, I still have them!) to listen along as I read.