By Suzanne Slade, Cozbi A. Cabrera (illustrator),

Book cover of Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

Book description

A picture-book biography of celebrated poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize

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…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Exquisite as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book inspired my family to start reading poetry together, to create playlists of poets of the Harlem Renaissance, and even to have a Calico Critters poetry reading with tiny dollhouse books (the elephants and hedgehogs are especially good poets). 

Exquisite’s extraordinary illustrations and playful prose, which honors Gwendolyn’s rhythms, take us through the poet’s childhood love of poetry—she begins writing as early as 7. Poetry is Gwendolyn’s world. Eventually, her poems are published—first in her neighborhood, then in her city and beyond—but they don’t pay the bills. Then one day a phone call delivers the news: She is the…

From Jasmine's list on women writers and artists.

This book is a lyrical, informative, and beautifully illustrated picture book biography about the poet Gwendolyn Brooks. The reader can learn all about her struggles and triumphs to becoming one of America’s most famous writers. This book is ideal for writing for children, and it would make an ideal gift for any child (or adult!) who loves poetry.

From Elizabeth's list on children’s books about writers.

Like many authors, my most-asked question is “Where do you get your ideas?” Gwendolyn Brooks had the perfect answer: “Poetry comes out of life.” Brooks, the first Black person to win a Pulitzer Prize, grew up with parents who prized poetry. She began writing at age 7, published at 11, and kept writing about life—its tough times and its beauty—as she worked to make her words shine. That theme, that poetry can sustain and inspire, even through hardships, runs throughout this biography.

As Slade tells it, one day in 1950, Brooks, struggling to pay her bills--her electricity had been turned…

From Lisa's list on biographies to inspire young poets.

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