Bryant, Jen. 2008. A RIVER OF WORDS: THE STORY OF WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS. Ill. by Melissa Sweet. New York: Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0802853021 [Suggested Grade Levels 3–7]
In this picture book biography of William Carlos Williams, Bryant's engaging prose reveals the sensitive upbringing of an observant and curious boy who loved words, but was encouraged to become a doctor—and managed to continue to pursue both interests. Sweet's evocative mixed-media illustrations are sprinkled with words and phrases, subtly highlighting the power of language in Williams’ life. The combination of spare text and layered art together celebrate this amazing man who found a way to earn a living as well as honor his calling to be a poet.
Children can look up more about William Carlos Williams the poet and doctor. How did he manage to work in both fields? What other careers have poets had?
They may also enjoy reading picture book biographies of other poets such as those suggested here. Older readers could research, write, and illustrate simple picture book biographies about other classic poets like Ezra Pound or T.S. Eliot.
Other picture book biographies of poets:
Clinton, Catherine. PHILLIS’S BIG TEST. ISBN 0618737391
Gollub, Matthew. COOL MELONS TURN TO FROGS: THE LIFE AND POEMS OF ISSA. ISBN 1584302410
Kerley, Barbara. WALT WHITMAN; WORDS FOR AMERICA. ISBN 0439357918
Winter, Jeanette. EMILY DICKINSON'S LETTERS TO THE WORLD. ISBN 0374321477