Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

OutOfWonderOut of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets
Illustrated by Ekua Holmes, Written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth

Publisher’s Summary:
Out of gratitude for the poet’s art form, Newbery Award-winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.

Primary Source Pairing:
In the Preface, author Kwame Alexander writes the title of the book “Out of Wonder” was inspired by something another author and poet wrote; Lucille Cliffton said, “poems come out of wonder, not of knowing.” Invite students to start from that place of wonder when they read and experience this book. Use the book itself as the primary source and each illustration as an opportunity for slow looking and close analysis. Illustrator Ekua Holmes created incredible, intricate mixed-media illustrations that bring these poems to life. As an extension, watch the DVD version of this book created by Dreamspace where the poems are animated and music accompanies the reading.

Choose one poem from this book and consider the following prompts:

  • Read the text of the poem and study the illustration.
  • What do you notice about the illustration?
  • What tools did the illustrator use to create this art?
  • How does the illustration bring the poem to life?
  • What is something small you notice about the illustration?
  • Read the poem again aloud.

Additional Resource:
Illustrator Ekua Holmes website: http://www.ekuaholmes.com/
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets
 Book Trailer: YouTube
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets DVD: Dreamscape