This place I know: Poems of Comfort
Selected by Georgia Heard
Illustrations by Eighteen Renowned Picture Book Artists
Ages 5 and up
Candlewick, 2006, 076362875-1
Adults often find that it can be hard to reach children who have suffered a traumatic experience. They close in on themselves and it is hard to know how to help them. Many people have found that the written word can offer such children comfort in a very special way. Poetry has a special power of its own and children find the rhythms of this form reassuring. After 9/11 Georgia Heard wanted very much to offer distressed children comfort through poetry, so she set about putting together a collection which she thought would help them feel less vulnerable and more hopeful. Since 9/11 children all over the world have suffered other traumatic events including terrifying tsunamis and devastating hurricanes and this book is for them as well.
Each of the poems in the collection has be chosen to give the young reader the sense that though terrible things do happen in this world, it does not mean that they are alone and helpless. There are still places where they can go “to find/their deepest feelings” among the trees and flowers. Though great buildings may fall, “a great city endures” if we all make a commitment to make each other
In this collection gentle soothing rhymes and lyrical blank verse are combined with the unique artwork of such artists as Peter Sis, Melissa Sweet, William Steig, and Kevin Hawkes. The end result is a book which children in stressful situations of all kinds can turn to for comfort.
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