Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Poems in Black & White

Poems in Black & White

Kate Miller
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 8 to 12
Boyds Mills Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-1590784129

We live in a world that is full of color, so much color in fact that there are times when we miss noticing the amazing things around us that are black and white. Though the richness of color is missing, the sharp contrasts that you see with black and white images can be very striking and memorable.

For this picture book, Kate Miller has created seventeen poems that look at black and white scenes or images. She begins with the black prints of a baby’s feet on a piece of white paper. There are “two tapered soles / of elfin size” on the paper that are only a few minutes old, but that are already “adventure bound.”

We also visit Miss Fitzgibbon’s blackboard, which is covered with math problems, the names of the planets, reminders, and other notes. On the board we see the “outlines of / A blackboard memory / Preserved in molecules of chalk.”

Then there is a portrait of “my mother’s hair,” which is “satin black / except for one small / patch of white.” As she looks at that little patch of white, she can imagine what her mother will look like when she is no longer young.

With beautiful black and white illustrations to accompany each poem, Kate Miller gives her readers a very special poetical treat.