ZURI Jackson is a junior poet character who writes:
Danitra’s scared of pigeons. I promised not to tell.
Then I opened my big mouth and out the secret fell.
I tried to shove it right back in, though it was much too late.
I told her I was sorry, but Danitra didn’t wait.
My, how I like it that this Zuri, lively child, is eager for the world to know about her buddy, Danitra Brown. And I like it that Zuri shares their foibles, with abandon. And what introspections the two city girls trade.
A boy said Zuri has toothpick legs & he called out Danitra for her “big and thick and round” eyeglasses. (Since both accusations fit child days of yours truly, my heartmelt happened with the Zuri poem these moments are in,”Coke-bottle Brown.”)
But even more, I like it that Zuri expresses all her vibrant ideas through her own poetry, which tumbles through the entire picture book like a downspout gushing on a sidewalk.
Extra treat – warm oil wash illustrations by artist Floyd Cooper are expectedly poetic. You’ll be wanting more of Danitra, especially her school events, and country days, so look into her subsequent poetry picture books, also by the poet brings her to us, Nikki Grimes: DANITRA BROWN, CLASS CLOWN & DANITRA BROWN LEAVES TOWN. They are, to borrow a word from junior poet Danitra, splendiferous.
JUNIOR POETS LIST
Lucky to meet
Zuri, Ratchet, Jack
in words on the page
Their names collected
There is room for more. Send along a word about the character, title, author please to JGAoffice at gmaildot com
Let me know your name if that’s unclear from your email so I can properly thank you.
Citation: Poetry Characters/Bookseedstudio © Jan Godown Annino.