Friday, April 7, 2017

All the World A Poem by Gilles Tibo, Illustrated by Manon Gauthier

April is National Poetry Month! To celebrate poetry I am posting several reviews and features of poetry books that I've read in the last month. Two days ago, I reviewed New York City Haiku. I loved it. Read my review and then enter to win a copy.

If you like poetry and want to join in the fun, go on over to Savvy, Verse & Wit where Serena is putting together a National Poetry Month 2017 Blog Tour.
Today, I am featuring a children's book about poetry. It's written by a Montrealer (I love supporting authors from my city) and it was translated by Erin Woods.

Book Details:

Title: All the World A Poem by Gilles Tibo
Illustrator: Manon Gauthier
Publisher: Pajama Press
Category: Children's Fiction, 32 pages
Genre: Poetry
Published: August 30, 2016
Content Rating: G 
Ages 5+

Book Description:

Poems tall or short or wide—
All are infinite inside.

In Gilles Tibo’s wonder-filled tribute to poetry, poems bloom in fields, fly on the wings of birds, and float on the foam of the sea. They are written in the dark of night, in the light of happiness, and in the warmth of the writer’s heart. Each poem is illustrated with Manon Gauthier’s whimsical paper collage art, which is both child-like and sophisticated.

Rhymed or unrhymed, regular or irregular, the verses bring not just poems but the very concept of poetry to the level of a child, making them accessible to all. If all the world is a poem, then anyone can be a poet!

Buy the Book: 

Our Review
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani & Son

I think poetry is a wonderful way to introduce children to words and literature. I made it a point to read poetry to my kids when they were little.

All the World a Poem is different than most of the picture books that I've read. It describes poetry through poems. It describes poetry as being many things, such as nature, love, wonder, imagination and the closeness of a friend. It's a beautiful book, but I thought the poetry too complex for the target audience.The poetry is reflective and filled with metaphors. Poetry usually requires abstract thinking and this is only developed much later in childhood. I loved this poem:

To write poetry
is to pluck silence like a flower
and press it gently between the pages
of a notebook
made of light.

What beautiful imagery! But would a child understand it? How can a parent explain what it means in terms that the child would comprehend according to his life experience? Silence is best appreciated by adults. Children are very tactile and use all their senses actively as they explore their world. Therefore, both my son and I think that this book should have been marketed for an older audience.

The illustrations which were created with paper collage and mixed media seemed almost 3D on some pages. They really popped out of the book. They looked like they've been drawn by a child, however. I have mixed feelings about them. They stood out, but were dark on some pages with earth tone colors, mainly browns, black, taupe, tan, beige. My son disliked them. He loves art, drawing and coloring, even as a teen, but these child-like drawings by an adult (he would have been okay had they been drawn by a 5 year-old) did not appeal to him.

Overall, I found the translation of this book--originally written in French and titled Poésies pour la vie--very well done. But I cannot see children 5+ grasping much of it. The poems, however, are beautiful and suited to an older audience.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

Gilles Tibo has written or illustrated over seventy children’s books, including the Simon series by Tundra Books, the Pikolo series by Annick Press, the Clementine series by Michel Quintin publishers, as well as texts for the Noémie series published in French by Éditions Québec/Amérique. He has created over a hundred posters and screen prints for theatre and for different cultural events. His illustrations can also be seen on the covers of records, novels, and magazines. He was a Canada Council Fellow and recipient of many awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Illustration — French for Simon et la ville...

About the Illustrator:

Montreal native Manon Gauthier is a self- taught illustrator and visual artist who studied graphic design and worked in that field for more than fifteen years. She has won several important prizes and nominations for her work, among them, four nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Awards (illustration), Canada’s most prestigious annual literary prize and more recently her illustrations for the book « Mon parc » published at Les éditions de l’Isatis have been selected for the prestigious Illustrator’s exibition at the Bologna children’s Book fair 2014.

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  1. This looks and sounds wonderful. My son always loved the cadence of poetry when he was young.

  2. I like the sound of this one, but I might agree that a child might not grasp everything in here. I wonder though if they might still enjoy the sounds when read aloud even if the concepts are beyond them.

    1. Yes, I agree with you Serena. A parent reading this to a child would be a good way to introduce poetry of this nature to younger children.


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