written by Nikki Grimes
illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Clarion Books, 2001
A Pocketful of Poems
From the Book
Ouch! This word pecks at my pocket
like some wild thing, anxious to go free
Its speckled sister paces along
The windowsill, staring in at me.
as wildlife. They can’t fool me.
We’re all city folk.
from A Pocketful of Poems
© 2001 by Nikki Grimes
Awards and Recognition
- 100 Titles for Reading And Sharing
- Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
- CCBC Choices 2002
- Chicago Parent Best Book
- Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media Award 2001
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 words—a 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)