Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A celebration of Poetry with a Beat

This toe tapping, finger snapping, body swaying poetry anthology is hip (hop)! With contributions from poets such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Gary Soto, you will be impressed with the talent that is under one roof. The author has put together an eclectic and electric mix with 51 selections from 42 poets and performers. The bright and beautifully illustrated hardcover book comes with an accompanying CD, which is a huge bonus. Hearing the poems read add a new dimension, and teach to those who are more auditory learners. You can read the book alone, listen to the CD separately, or combine them both.

This is one classy act, I loved it. Here is an excerpt from one of the selections called “For Word” by Benjamin Zephaniah

Thanks for all those words that sing

Thanks for words are everything

Thanks for all the words like this

And little sloppy words like kiss

Thanks for words like hip-hooray

And those cool words I like to say

Thanks for words that reach and touch

Thank you very, very much.

This anthology is not only a celebration of African American heritage and civil rights, but is a celebration of life itself. Poetry lovers, or anyone wishing to expand their “poetic horizons” can enjoy it. It would also be a worthy addition to your poetry studies as it is sure to inspire you aspiring poets. Put on the audio CD, or read aloud the poems yourself and watch the magic happen. Here are some sample poems my sons wrote after we finished reading the book and listening to the audio tracks:

My name is Jeff Shababy and I don’t mean maybe

I prefer my mashed potatoes without gravy

If you ask me about Pokemon I know everything

And if you’re up for a battle just give me a ring

I can defeat you any day

If you think you can win, no way.


Hey, my name is Disco.

I like my cookies without Crisco.

I have a friend named Max

He has a friend who carries an ax

And his vision is a little bit hazy

If you think I’m crazy you’re wrong

Have fun with it!

The author is an award winning poet and writer, with dozens of books to her credit.

Read more about Nikki

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