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On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson

Cover: 'On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson'

Staff Review: "On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson" by Jennifer Berne, Becca Stadtlander


Beautifully illustrated with just the right amount of text to a page, this picture book biography is great to share with young poets. It tells how Emily lived a secluded life enjoying her family, close friends, and the natural world. In books and in her mind she experienced much that she described in her poems. Though she published few in her lifetime, her multitude of poems was discovered after she died. They speak to all of us today. I think it can sometimes be intimidating to wade through Emily Dickinson's poetry, yet what stands out to me about this book was how relevant the selections from her poems are. One page says "Emily saw the inner world was bigger than all the world outside" and is paired with her verse: 

"The Brain—is wider than the Sky—

For—put them side by side—

The one the other will contain

With ease—and You—beside—"

Amazing! This book serves as an excellent introduction to Emily Dickinson for new readers. A "Discovering the World of Poetry" section at the end encourages readers to try writing poems one step at a time.

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction

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