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Mother Poems

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Ayoung girl thinks of her mom as a superhero, a doctor, her North Star. She feels loved in her mother’s arms and capable of conquering the world. But when her beloved role model unexpectedly dies, she cannot even cry; sadness is too overwhelming. As she struggles with grief, she must learn how to carry on while keeping the memory of her mother very much alive inside her he ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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(showing 1-29 of 89)
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Betsy
The book had me fooled. I opened it up and had the notion that what I was dealing with here was just a collection of mom-centric poetry. In my defense, I don't like reading bookflaps and I'd never read a Hope Anita Smith book before. Nope. I hadn't read The Way a Door Closes or Keeping the Night Watch. Also, as a children's librarian I've been trained to think that if a book is called something like Mother Poems then it's probably going to be a bunch of unrelated verses about mothers and how swe ...more
Christina Martin
Mother Poems by Hope Anita Smith is a collection of poems about a girl whose mother is her whole world and follows her story of her mother passing away and shares what life is like after she passes away. These poems share the girls feeling of going through many life events without her mother present. Some of the poems also describe the girl interacting with other people and their moms and she shares how they should not take their mothers for granted. This collection of poems are amazing and touc ...more
Brooke
Upon first glance and a scan of the title, Mother Poems, appears to be a book of poetry honoring mothers. While this assumption is correct, this work is much more intimate than that, containing a collection of mostly free verse poems, detailing one girl’s relationship with her mother, whom she loves and holds tightly, yet ultimately loses.

This collection of 31 poems touches the reader somewhere deeper than the surface, reaching in to where innermost emotions and memories reside. These poems de
...more
Danielle
Smith's previous free-verse books The Way a Door Closes, and Keeping the Night Watch about a family that deals with the pain of a father leaving, and then the healing process of when he returns, has proved her to be one of the great poets writing for youth. In Mother Poems there is something very personal about the work here. Not only does she illustrate it with her own collage images that are at times tender, and at times funny, but the narrative is of a voice of a girl who deeply loved her mot ...more
Chrissy
A group of poems about a mother's love and a child's loss. Some of these were very well written, but I was bothered by some of the word choices. The early poems seem written from a very young point of view or voice, and then suddenly there are words like "heart of darkness" and "touchstone" that I don't think mesh with the young voice. As the daughter's loss enters the storyline, the poems are definitely from an older point of view, and that part makes sense, but some of the early ones are too j ...more
Kristen
I saw this on display in the children's section at the Orem Public Library. The artwork could have stood alone as a piece of beauty in its own right, but the poems were also something to speak of. The poems chronicle a young girl's dear relationship with her mother, the mother's sudden death, and then the girl's struggle to cope with and grieve her mother's death while trying to move on and at simultaneously not forget her mother. I'm not much of a poetry critic, all I know is what I felt, and I ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'm going to call this a novel in verse because all the poems together tell a story. In it a girl describes her mother--all the things she does for her, how much she loves her daughter, and how much her daughter loves her. Reading them I feel how lucky I've been to have a great mom, and how these poems describe how I feel about her. Then, tragedy--her mother dies, and the tone changes to a mixture of anger and grief and, finally, to acceptance. Reading those poems makes me appreciate that my mot ...more
Jen Kahl
This book of poetry is beautifully written! The poems discuss the many faces a mother puts on. Most of the poems describe an action of a mother and how wonderful it feels to her child. There are others that are humorous, describing how a mother can nag. A couple of the poems even talk about the death of their mother. Each poem has a very simplistic picture next to it showing either a child or a mother, or the embrace they share. This book would be great to read snipets of to children who are cre ...more
Lindsey
I really wanted to like this collection of poems, but didn't. I felt I like I was reading a middle schoolers first attempts at poetry. Maybe that was Smith's way of trying to connect to that age group or make the poems accessible, but all they came out sounding to me were cliche. Each example in the poems like "walking in my mom's shoes" are just so over used. In the end, the poems didn't give readers a clear picture of one mother, but the stereotype of what mothers are supposed to be and a vagu ...more
(NS) Sue
The young African-American girl in this collection of poems celebrates her mother as superhero, doctor, and her North Star. When her mother suddenly dies, the poems reveal the girl's sadness, shock, anger, and guilt. Hope Anita Smith's poems are simple and intimate and lyrically convey the complex emotions brought forth by a parent's death. Smith's torn-paper collages poignantly illustrate her words in a folk art style.
Very moving. (Gr. 4 and up)
Allison
A book of poems about suddenly losing a mother. Smith puts into words exactly what I've been thinking, but couldn't figure out how to say.

"But occasionally,
he (Death)sneaks up on you,
taps you on your right shoulder,
and when you turn to look,
he reaches over your left
and takes your mother.

It was the oldest trick in the book.
I can't believe I fell for it."
Hilary
Eh. Some of the later ones were ok, but the first bunch were pretty terrible--boring, superficial, etc. I really have nothing to say on it. The collage style illustrations were well done and neat...that's something, I guess.
Alethea A
Gorgeous. I'm not a poetry person anymore, but now and then, someone puts the right words together. Great choice not just for mothers and daughters, but for those who have loved and lost a mother (whatever their age).
Kay Farmer
I could relate to her poetry and her paper collages were inspiring. I could imagine myself and my own mother's relationship through some of her poems. Great read for mothers and daughters of all ages.
Toby
A selection of CPL's Best of the Best, I was actually afraid to read this book but found the poems less emotional and more sophisticated than I'd expected. The illustrations are a perfect accompaniment.
Barbara
Stunning torn-paper illustrations by the poet accent these spare and haunting poems describing the poet's relationship with her mother. Wonderful, powerful poetry and incredibly expressive images.
Sarah
I still remember pulling this off of the new book shelf and flipping through the poems, suffice it to say that it is not just poems about Moms, but poems about a mom who dies.
Ebony
smith does it again with her most recent book about a daughter who has lost her mother. poignant. powerful. unparalleled. i would recommend it to youth and adults.
Rebecca
Essentially a short novel in verse about the loss of a parent. Collage illustrations, African-American characters. Beautiful and sad.
Aileen
This most exquisitely illustrated book is touching and beautiful. What a treasure!
Thank you for being you Hope.
Mindy
Apr 07, 2009 Mindy marked it as to-read
She read her poems about her mother, who died when she was 12, on npr.org/tellmemore and it made me cry.
Woolanthrope
Beautiful images through words about a mother and death and grief and profound love.
Mary
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marilyn
Excellent, moving poems by a wonderful peot.
Erin Ramai
Mar 06, 2010 Erin Ramai marked it as to-read
Shelves: poetry, picture-books
ALA Noteable Book 2010
Candi
Jun 19, 2009 Candi marked it as to-read
Shelves: books-for-kids
Ages 8-13
Linda
Linda marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2015
Tuscany Bernier
Tuscany Bernier marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2015
Tamara
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Apr 16, 2015
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On her journey to becoming an award-winning author, Hope Anita Smith has been a storyteller, teacher, photographer, artist and a singer. Her first book, THE WAY A DOOR CLOSES won several awards including, The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award, the Judy Lopez award from the Women's National Book Association, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Honor, the Claudia Lewis Award from Bank Street Coll ...more
More about Hope Anita Smith...
Keeping the Night Watch The Way a Door Closes

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