The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children share button
Davida Adedjouma
Format Hardcover
Dimensions 7.98 (w) x 9.86 (h) x 0.09 (d)
Pages 32
Publisher Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication Date May 2003
ISBN 9781880000762
Book ISBN 10 1880000768
About Book
This dazzling collection of poetry celebrates the beauty of African-American culture. Written by 20 inner-city children, these moving and powerful poems represent little-heard and often overlooked voices. Full color.

A collection of poems written by Afro-American children celebrating what it means to be Black.


Children's Literature - Leila Toledo

Through poetry, African children celebrate what it means to by Black. By way of a series of workshops in the inner city the editor was able to stimulate children to express their joys, frustrations and visions of what being Black means to them. Out of the mouths of babes....

School Library Journal

K-Gr 4-A collection of poems by 20 children between the ages of 6 and 14, with introductory notes by Lucille Clifton. Christie interprets the selections with passionate (though somewhat scary in their expressive distortion) acrylic-and-pencil illustrations that could stand alone as a lively introduction to modern art. The poems were created during a community workshop designed to "introduce children to the techniques of image and metaphor, narrative and dialogue, and then set them free to explore their own lives, feelings and imaginations." Occasionally these goals are reached, as when Thelma Louise Lee writes of "my brother-trying to wash dishes/and me-talking too much, me hitting/my cousin (not meaning to, really),/me playing basketball and/calling all the shots." However most of the short poems, printed with boldface emphasizing certain words (Black, family, freedom) lack original imagery and come across as slogans rather than as personal voices. Facilitators of "everybody's an author" writing classes seeking a range of examples may be interested in purchasing The Palm of My Heart. Stronger writing and a broader range of topics can be found in June Jordan and Terri Bush's Voice of the Children (Holt, 1970; o.p.)-Karen MacDonald, Teaticket Elementary School, MA

Kirkus Reviews

A collection of works, subtitled "Poetry by African American Children," that showcases an exciting new artist whose style is unique and fully realized.

The 20 pieces that Adedjouma gathered from writing workshops are not poems but thoughts, musings, and statements occasionally infused by a poetical phrase or notion. The themes are arranged seamlessly, and the selections are life-affirming, brimming with self-awareness, and written in a celebration of African American culture. The real story here is the glorious art by picture-book newcomer Christie, who displays a fine-arts sensibility that is incorporated into his illustrations, looking as if the influence of African art has been distilled through Klee and Picasso in the 1920s, with a touch of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Yet Christie's art remains all his own. Elongated limbs and abstract backgrounds emphasize the skill of his portraiture, drawing viewers to the astoundingly accomplished painting of individual faces. His interpretations of the text elevate its feeble nature and allow every page and double-spread to convey a distinct story, mood, or tribute to the culture. With an introduction by Lucille Clifton.