A Pocketful of Poems
illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Clarion Books, 2001
Paperback, December 2018
From the book
Ouch! This word pecks at my pocket
like some wild thing, anxious to go free.
MMMMMP I G E O N.
Its speckled sister paces along
the windowsill, staring in at me.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMas wildlife. They can't fool me.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMWe're all city folk.
from A Pocketful of Poems
© 2001 by Nikki Grimes
There are teaching guides available for this book. Click here.
"There's so much vibrant energy and freshness in this collaboration, the book will dance into the hearts of children right away. Tiana...opens her hands full of letters and her pocket full of words. Each page has two facing poems, both in Tiana's voice: one is short and bracing, the other is a haiku... They are on the same subject and often play call-and response to each other...the haiku usually floats or sways or sashays amidst the illustrations. And what illustrations they are! Steptoe is a fabulously inventive collagist...The letters that come out of Tiana's pocket and adorn the endpapers look like baked molasses candy, luscious and edible." Booklist, starred review
"Grimes (Jazmin's Notebook) boils poetry down to its essence in this picture book homage to wordsa must-read for aspiring poets and writers...Tiana's bubbling personality shines forth from each verse, and Steptoe...in an extraordinary feat, sculpts each of his character portraits from construction paper in a single, uninterrupted linear outline. ...Readers can only hope that this dynamic duo has many more pockets full of poems." Publishers Weekly, starred review
Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
100 Titles for Reading And Sharing
CCBC Choices 2002
2001 Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award
Chicago Parent Best Book