Selected Text & Art

Art by Lisa Desimini

“Is that your friend Flamingo?” the other fish asked. “She is much bigger than we thought.” Fish was silent. He did not recognize his friend in the beautiful color that was spreading as far as the fish could see. And then he remembered. “That’s not my friend Flamingo, but it is her gift. She has given me a sunrise.”

Light
Art by Lisa Desimini

I was a stranger. I visited your village. You welcomed me.
You brought a chair for me to sit on. You fixed food for me to eat.
You drew water from the well so that I could wash.

When it was time for me to leave, you shook my hand. You smiled
And gave me an egg, blazing white in the full, fierce sun.

As I rode the bus that took me out of your village, the egg broke.
I was sorry. Not because the broken egg smelled in the heat of the day,
Or felt sticky on the palm of my hand or stained my clothing.
I was sorry because I had been careless with your fragile gift.

Since that time, I have been more careful with a small kindness.

Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

NCTE Notable Book 1987
Wild Wild Sunflower Child Anna

Swaying trees
blowing breeze
whistle kissing Anna
Humming skies
closing eyes
golden flower lullabies
Anna warm
Anna cradled
in the glowing of the morning
Sleep Anna
Sweet Anna
Wild wild sunflower child
Sleep.
sunflower-art

NCTE Notable Book 1991
Goodbye Geese

Illustrated by Ed Young

When geese spread their wings in the sky
and fly honking south,

winter hears
and winter comes.

Goodbye
Goodbye
Goodbye
Geese.

Grandpappy

Illustrated by Laurel Molk

“Still awake, Nate?” he asks.
Then he takes me out to see the stars.

He puts his hand on my shoulder as we look up.
“It’s okay to feel small, you know.
Small, but not alone,
and dressed in glory like the stars.”

Sun on Top of the World
Illustrated by Ken Kuoi
Sun on Top of the World

Sun at the Top of the World

Sun, sun,
Where do you live in summer?

I live at the top of the world
At the top of the world in summer.

Sun, sun,
What do you see at the top of the world
What do you see in summer?

I see wide-open space
Where the sea and the land keep walking.
I see sky-stretching blue
Like a giant sealskin
And clouds with a polar bear ruff.

Sun, sun,
What do you smell at the top of the world
At the top of the world in summer?

I smell the sea that winter let go
With the wind of a thousand summers.
I smell the willows hugging the tundra
And poppies blowing with color.

Sun, sun,
What do you hear at the top of the world?
What do you hear in summer?

I hear the tales that the old men tell
Of hunting the whale and the caribou,
I hear the steps of the dancing women,
And games that the children play.
I hear the Arctic Loon laugh as he asks,
“Where have you been all winter?”

Sun, sun,
How do you feel at the top of the world?
How do you feel in summer?

I feel so alive
Where I live in my house
At the top of the world in summer
That I wish
I could stay all winter.

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