by Suzanne Slade
and Cozbi A. Cabrera
Gwendolyn Brooks grew up in Chicago, in a poor family who nonetheless "owned great treasure-a bookcase filled with precious poems." Her love of poetry took root in these early years, when her father would recite poems to the family. By age seven, Gwendolyn was writing poems of her own, her passion encouraged by her mother, who believed she would be a great poet someday. She was prolific, writing about everything, submitting a few poems to a newspaper when she was 11, which became her first published work. She continued to write (while holding other jobs) through adulthood, drawing inspiration from her South Side Chicago neighborhood, eventually landing a book deal, and winning the Pulitzer Prize for her second volume of poems. Slade's lyrical picture-book biography captures both the poetry and the persistence of a remarkable woman who always found time to work on craft. Cabrera's expressive acrylic paintings show the poet at work-always observing, thinking and writing, wearing her trademark black horn-rimmed glasses. (Ages 6-10)
CCBC Choices 2021. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2021. Used with permission.
A picture-book biography of celebrated poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize
A 2021 Coretta Scott King Book Award Illustrator Honor Book
A 2021 Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book
A 2021 Association of Library Service to Children Notable Children's Book
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917–2000) is known for her poems about “real life.” She wrote about love, loneliness, family, and poverty—showing readers how just about anything could become a beautiful poem. Exquisite follows Gwendolyn from early girlhood into her adult life, showcasing her desire to write poetry from a very young age. This picture-book biography explores the intersections of race, gender, and the ubiquitous poverty of the Great Depression—all with a lyrical touch worthy of the subject. Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize, receiving the award for poetry in 1950. And in 1958, she was named the poet laureate of Illinois. A bold artist who from a very young age dared to dream, Brooks will inspire young readers to create poetry from their own lives.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.