Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

My Letter to the World and Other Poems

My Letter to the World and Other Poems

Emily Dickinson
Illustrator:  Isabelle Arsenault 
For ages 9 and up
Kids Can Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1554531035

Many readers find Emily Dickinson’s poems a challenge to read. Her tendency to choose dark subjects, and her unconventional use of language and punctuation make her poems demanding. One has to think and ponder her words to find their meaning, but the poems are more than worth the effort. In this beautiful book, readers will find seven of Emily Dickinson’s most famous poems.

In one of the poems Emily gives us a picture of hope, which “is the thing with feathers - / That perches in the soul - / And sings the tune without the words - / And never stops – at all.” In another, she takes a ride in a carriage with Death and sees the world in a new way. In yet another poem Emily Dickinson says “I’m nobody! Who are you?” We, her readers, are invited to be nobodies too. Is this an invitation that we would accept if we could?

Throughout this book, Isabelle Arsenault’s haunting multimedia illustrations provide the perfect backdrop for Emily Dickinson’s poems.