Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Nye, Naomi Shihab. 2008. HONEYBEE. New York: Greenwillow. ISBN 0060853905 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-8]
Naomi Shihab Nye’s amazing new anthology includes 82 poems, including many prose poems, on school, war, families, landscapes and bees… the connecting thread that buzzes through the poems with nectar and implication. There are many selections about words and books and libraries. She takes us along with her in her travels through Texas (her home state) and Egypt and childhood and airports and beehives. It’s a striking variety of vignettes and anecdotes and observations all threaded through her unique poetic voice. HONEYBEE is political, personal, and powerful.
Nye uses both poems and paragraphs of prose to frame her discussion of memories and travels. Lead children in comparing the two ways of writing by looking at the poem, “The United States is Not the World” and the prose entry, “Gate A-4.” How does each capture details? Images? Emotions?
The honeybee and its plight in today’s ecology is a running thread throughout the book. Children may want to look up more information about bees, their habits, and habitats.
Other poetry books written by Naomi Shihab Nye:
A MAZE ME: POEMS FOR GIRLS. ISBN 0060581891
COME WITH ME: POEMS FOR A JOURNEY. ISBN 068815946X
NINETEEN VARIETIES OF THE GAZELLE. ISBN 0060097663
SALTING THE OCEAN: 100 POEMS BY YOUNG POETS. ISBN 0688161936
THE FLAG OF CHILDHOOD: POEMS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST. ISBN 0689851723
THIS SAME SKY: A COLLECTION OF POEMS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. ISBN 0689806302
By Sylvia M. Vardell