Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Amazing Faces

Amazing Faces

Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrator:  Chris Soentpiet 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Lee & Low Books, 2010   ISBN: 978-1600603341

All too often we are quick to notice how different we are from people who live in different cities or countries, who speak different languages, and whose skin is a different shade from ours. We judge based on how different we are rather than notice how much we have in common. For this unique picture book, Lee Bennett Hopkins has chosen sixteen poems that all show to great effect that there are universal experiences and feelings that connect us.

In the first poem in the collection, Rebecca Kai Dotlich looks at the “Amazing Face” of a baby. Parents and siblings all over the world every day see amazing baby faces. They see in that little face how this baby will one day “watch from a window,/ whisper to a friend,/ ride a carousel,/ melt candy on your tongue.”

In the poem Miss Stone, Nikki Grimes explores a first day of school experience. We meet a little African American child who wishes “somebody, anybody/ Would come over and ask me to play.” How many children in playgrounds all over the world have felt this way?

To accompany the poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Chris Soentpiet has created rich paintings full of expressive faces. We see smiles, sparkling eyes, looks of love, and looks of pain. We see in these amazing faces the threads that bring us together.