Hey You! C'mere! A Poetry Slam

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9780439092579: Hey You! C'mere! A Poetry Slam

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Liz Swados sets the stage for a hilarious, cathartic poetry slam, with casting and sets by Joe Cepeda.

One summer morning in the sizzling city, seven kids gather on a street corner to share the power of poetry. As they move through the neighborhood, the kids transform their experiences -- standing up to a tough kid, slurping spaghetti and ice cream, a good "hiccup cough sniff" cry -- into a poetry slam celebrating the strength and energy of their own unique voices. Elizabeth Swado's wonderfully aural work is given visual dimension by Joe Cepeda's colorful, character-ful paintings. So come along and heed the call: Hey you! C'MERE!

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About the Author:

JOE CEPEDA has illustrated many books for children, including What a Truly Cool World by Julius Lester and Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron. He lives in Whittier, California. DARCY PATTISON is the author of The River Dragon, illustrated by Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng, as well as the fantasy novel The Wayfinder. She teaches writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and reviews children's books for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

From Publishers Weekly:

Everyone's a poet, according to this exhortative poetry-reading and street-theater combo: "You've got a poem in your pocket, A poem on your tongue, did you know that? You can be the poet and you can be the poem too. Yesssss!" To prove it, seven young poets roam their city block on a summer day, using ordinary situations as material for syncopated storytelling. The players' portraits and names appear in the table of contents, so that each one is identifiable during their improv. Ratchit, a bold prankster, repeats a tough kid's threat ("Hey you, c'mere, Whatsa matter witcha"), while his friend Jacob describes a timid reaction to bullying in "A Good Cry." Mattie mimics her mother's phone voice "Yeah, uh huh, uh huh" in a song. While Doria creates a nonsense riff on "Silly Names" ("Mr. Grub T. Mudstuck, Diane Doobey Doo, Fineas Figmuff and Tina Tutoo..."), Ratchit sneaks off to play a joke on the group; after his ghostly noises inspire his friends' frightened poem, "Monsters," Ratchit laughs, then composes a reiterative "Sorry." Swados, author of the musical play Runaways, crafts an upbeat series of poems and dramatic asides. Using a crackling-hot palette of orange, summer green and blue-violet, Cepeda (What a Truly Cool World) limns a vibrant cityscape and brings out the strong personalities of the multiracial group. The slangy words and upbeat visuals suggest that poetry happens in casual conversation and friendship; readers might want to try this "slam" as a real play or spin some verse of their own. Ages 6-12.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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