I feel particular love for A River of Words because it was my nomination when we did mock-Caldecotts in my grad school picture book seminar and then, just a month later, it did indeed pick up a Caldecott Honor. You can imagine I feel compelled to mention this fact to anyone I tell about this book.
A River of Words is a picture book biography of poet William Carlos Williams and it brilliantly combines the narrative of his life with his poetry (I am a huge fan of his poetry to begin with and this book is a lovely introduction to it). I can’t imagine a more lovely book for elementary-age children as far as poetry and poets go.
The text isn’t too wordy and the poems themselves are woven into the images. I think William Carlos Williams’ poetry is so accessible to children anyway, so this book can really appeal to its target audience.
I love Melissa Sweet’s illustrations, especially. They are so vibrant and colorful. This one is done in collage and it just gorgeous.
This is one of those picture books I want to own. I love knowing about the life of famous poets and also being introduced to their most famous works and this does both.