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Sunday, January 20, 2013

IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY- Joyce Carol Thomas


When Joyce Carol Thomas was about ten, her family boarded a train and immigrated from Oklahoma to California. IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY, is Thomas' memoir, a love song to California, that follows the family's journey to their new home. 

IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY is a quiet book, brimming with beautiful word portraits. It's not a book that I'm sure kids will love on their own; I think it's one they will fall in love with when they hear it read aloud. I see myself using it again and again in mini-lessons on how authors use details, or on how carefully they choose their words,  or on surprising images.

Listen:
The waiting train huffs
"Hurry, hurry, hurry!"
And I worry, worry, worry,
Hissing wheels
hiss, hiss, hiss
and I'm afraid we'll
miss, miss, miss
the train! 
************
And so we ride into early afternoons
past quick and slow-stepping lizards
basking hood-eyed 
on dazzling rocks.

We ride into late afternoon
past a snake whose body is a pen
writing calligraphy
on the paper-dry earth.

****************
Beyond the bay
mountains topped with ice cream snow
rise
reaching toward the cloud-powdered sky
in the Land of Milk and Honey 

Thomas' beautiful language is paired with the signature sepia illustrations of one of her favorite partners- Floyd Cooper. Perfect!

1 comment:

Andromeda Jazmon Sibley said...

I am reviewing this one for Friday Poetry this week. Glad to see your review and I agree - Perfect!