Nikki Grimes Facebook Nikki Grimes Twitter
TaiChi Morning
Order this book from
TaiChi Morning:Snapshots of China
illustrated byEd Young
Cricket Books, April 2004
ISBN: 978-0-8126-2707-7

From the book

Early every morning
Chen Lai and her GongGong
slow dance with the warm wind
breathing as the earth sighs
arms brushing the airways
palms coaxing the sun's rise.
Chen Lai shadows GongGong's
graceful-as-a-cat step
as he dances
to the rhythm
of the heart

nnnfrom Tai Chi Morning: Snapshots of China
nnncopyright © 2004 by Nikki Grimes

"In the essays and poems of Tai Chi Morning:Snapshots of China by Nikki Grimes, illus. by Ed Young, the poet reflects on her experiences in China in 1988 as part of an arts advocacy group...In one of the many standouts, 'Huang Shen and the Great Wall', Grimes writes, 'I, Huang Shen am living, breathing/derftly carved by Heaven's hand/What makes you great, you wingless dragon/wriggling lifeless through the land?.' A photograph of the Great Wall, and Young's image of the masses descending the stairs that lead to its seemingly endless walkway, reinforce the poet's dramatic imagery." Publishers Weekly

"Grimes constructs a travelogue of small poems, each with an introduction accompanied by her tourist photos. Young's lively and evocative black-and-white drawings, which are from the same time period—just before Tiananmen Square—are well matched with the verse, some rhymed, some opens up possibilities for history, culture, and poetry classes for middle grades." Kirkus

"A harmonious blend of travelogue, sketchbook, and poetic reflections, this offering will be enjoyed for its content and its teaching potential. In 1988, Grimes traveled to China with a theater group and recorded her impressions of the country. Tethered by her African American roots, she paints her personal visions of a particular area or experience in a narrative paragraph, and then knits the ideas together into a poem on the facing page. She considers the political strife of China, and the world at large. She muses about meeting a Mongolian mother and child whose features and clothing remind her of Swedish Laplanders and AmericanEskimos, "... which got me thinking how inter-related we human beings are. It seems we're all connected somewhere down the line. Why is it that we only see our differences?" Young's simple artwork complements Grimes' eloquent images. The reedy pen-and-ink drawings deftly capture the exotic and ancient culture of the country. While the author and illustrator worked independently of one another, the book has a collaborative effect. The evocative poetry and persuasive sketches create a collage of a land and people as different, unusual, ancient, and humane as our own. Beyond its obvious use for providing a multifaceted picture of China, this sparse gem is also a perfect choice to demonstrate journal writing. It will provide inspiration for poetry and creative writing. Black-and-white snapshots appear throughout." —AlisonFollos, School Library Journal

Teaching Guides
There are teaching guides available for this book. Click here.

Copyright © 2003- Nikki Grimes. All rights reserved. Navigation bar photo by Aaron Lemen. Privacy Policy.
Site design by Winding Oak. No images or content on these pages may be reproduced or republished in any form without permission.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of and I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.