the death of the hat

 
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A celebrated duo reunites for a look at poems through history inspired by objects—earthly and celestial—reflecting the time in which each poet lived.

A book-eating moth in the early Middle Ages. A peach blossom during the Renaissance. A haunted palace in the Victorian era. A lament for the hat in contemporary times. Poetry has been a living form of artistic expression for thousands of years, and throughout that time poets have found inspiration in everything from swords to stamp albums, candles to cobwebs, manhole covers to the moon. In The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects, award-winning anthologist Paul B. Janeczko presents his fiftieth book, offering young readers a quick tour of poets through the ages. Breathing bright life into each selection is Chris Raschka’s witty, imaginative art.

The buzz...

Raschka’s lively, vibrant watercolors frame the text, enhancing and imbuing the poems with life…. This award-winning pair have once again delivered a book to be celebrated…. An excellent addition to any collection
School Library Journal (starred review)
This accessible collection, containing poems from a wide variety of eras, regions, and styles and by a diverse group of writers, is a subtly thoughtful and engaging gateway to classic poetry, and a superb resource for the classroom.
Booklist (starred review)
Raschka’s playful watercolors on crisp, white backgrounds distill both images and emotions from the poems. … Another winning collaboration from two luminaries.
The Kirkus Review (starred review)
Much like peanut butter and jelly, poetry and art are a perfect pair. Janeczko and Raschka have again prepared another delicious snack; the watercolors are a delicacy, light and playful.
School Library Collection
Raschka’s droll sweeps of watercolor and ink are by turns bright, bold, humorous and solemn, while Janeczko’s selections range from simple riddles to longer meditations…. The way in to this poetry is through objects, yet the intangible universe of human thought and experience is captured here with them. These things that seem so real are only temporary, but the poems may last for centuries.
The Washington Post
Truly a young person’s introduction to the heights and depth and breadth of poetry…For many a bewildered adult, wishing to bring poetry to a young reader and not knowing how or where to begin, “The Death of the Hat,’’ will be a positive godsend.
The Boston Globe
This historical approach to poetry and poets through the ages is a wonderful addition to poetry collections.
Literacy Daily
Janeczko and Raschka’s stellar fourth poetry collaboration, following A Poke in the I and other acclaimed titles, presents a chronological “history” of the development of poetry, from the Middle Ages to the present…. Janeczko’s selections and Raschka’s characteristically airy illustrations let readers uncover layers of meaning, possibility, and emotion in poems from Rumi, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Pablo Neruda, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and others. Janeczko’s substantial introduction gives an overview of poetry’s evolution over the centuries, yet works like Lord Byron’s “A Riddle, on the Letter E” resonate powerfully on their own: “The beginning of eternity, the end of time and space,/ The beginning of every end, and the end of every place.”
Publishers' Weekly (starred review)