Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets” as Want to Read:
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,434 ratings  ·  399 reviews
Out of gratitude for the poet's art form, Newbery Award winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors' hearts sing and their minds wonder.
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Candlewick Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,434 ratings  ·  399 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My kids have accused me of being the most “kid-like” adult they know. They teased me for getting giddy to watch the Sesame Street anniversary special last week and roll their eyes when I quote family favorite children’s books. Sorry, kids, but it’s almost Herschel time. My youngest daughter has been reading on her own for over four years now, and I miss the thrill of looking for picture books in the children’s section of the library to read to her. With exquisite illustrations, kids can imagine ...more
David Schaafsma
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I’m in the minority here because I wasn’t thrilled by this collection so I’ll be as brief as I can. I am a fan of Kwame Alexander, who along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth wrote poems in response to some of their favorite poets, including Maya Angelou, Bashō, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Billy Collins, e.e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Chief Dan George, Nikki Giovanni, Terrance Hayes, Langston Hughes, Walter Dean Myers, Pablo Neruda, Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver, O ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
To see this week's children's books, please visit

I fell in love with this book as soon as I started reading the preface as the author explains his life growing up with books. His love for books and poetry influenced him to put together this lovely book of poems to introduce poetry to children.

The poems in the book are written by Kwame Alexander, Chris Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth. The poems included here honor and celebrate twenty poets from the past and pres
Laura Harrison
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most extraordinary poetry picture books I have ever encountered. The poems are incredible but the illustrations! Astonishingly beautiful and powerful! Any teacher, librarian, parent, bookseller or book lover who follows my reviews or who just stumbled across this one-trust me and obtain this title as soon as you can. It will be like no other book in its category you have ever seen.
Mary Lee
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, poetry, picture-book
I didn't really read this book today...I read it months ago when I wrote the teachers' guide! But I heard Kwame Alexander and illustrator Ekua Holmes speak at ALA and got an arc, so now it seems real enough to talk about.

20 poems (written by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth) celebrate the influence of 20 different poets from Rumi to Billy Collins to Emily Dickinson to Langston Hughes to Walter Dean Myers. GORGEOUS illustrations by Ekua Holmes.

You will want this book.
Jillian Heise
A wonderful collection of poems that can be appreciated on their own and used as mentor texts. The illustrations are striking, vivid, and match the tone of each poems. I appreciated the three different ways of honoring/being inspired by the poets being celebrated throughout the book. The only thing missing for me was the original inspiration poem side-by-side, or in the back matter, to show more clearly how the new poems matched up to the inspiration. Because I am not familiar with all of them, ...more
Spectacular.This book will win awards. And it will be deserved.

A much-needed addition to poetry collections for schools and libraries.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book for poetry writing with kids. Mentor texts upon mentor texts.
A lovely, inspiring collection of original poems celebrating twenty prominent poets: Maya Angelou, Bashō, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Billy Collins, e.e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Chief Dan George, Nikki Giovanni, Terrance Hayes, Langston Hughes, Walter Dean Myers, Pablo Neruda, Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver, Okot p'Bitek, Rumi, William Carlos Williams, and Judith Wright.

One of my favorite poem celebrates Langston Hughes and is written by Kwame Alexander:
Jazz Jive Jam

May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Out of Wonder is out of this world!

Alexander's opening Preface sets the stage for this inspiring collection of poetry! Twenty beautiful poems written by Alexander, Colderley, and Wentworth to both honor and highlight the various styles of twenty amazing poets from the past and present and from around the globe. Ekua Holmes illustrations are just as distinguished as the poems themselves.

A collection sure to inspire exploration in reading new poets, writing & wonder!!!
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply inspiring! There's nothing like reading a good poem to stir the writer inside, especially when they are inspired by other amazing poets.
4.5 simply because I wanted even more. Complemented with colorful and meaningful collage on paper illustrations, this collection of 20 poems is divided into three different sections. The three poets responsible for the book take turns crafting poems that offer tributes in different ways to poets they found influential in some way. Some such as Basho and Rumi are long gone, but their verses live on, thanks to those who still love their words and want to keep them alive. Others such as Billy Colli ...more
Mary Ann
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"A poem is a s small but powerful thing. It has the power to reach inside of you, to ignite something in you, and to change you in ways you never imagined." -- Kwame Alexander
As Kwame Alexander writes in his preface, poetry can pack a powerful punch, touching our deepest feelings, helping us notice everyday details in new ways. In this dynamic collection, Alexander and fellow poets Colderley and Wentworth honor 20 of their favorite poets. Their original poems dance and spin with the poets they
Amy Layton
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks, poems
This is a truly beautiful book that should sit on everybody's shelves.  Kwame Alexander's poems are striking and Ekua Holmes' illustrations are absolutely stunning.  Taking inspiration from other poets in the same vain as Giovanni's One Last Word, Alexander and other poets celebrate poets such as e.e. cummings and Nikki Giovanni. It's fun, and gives audiences a smattering of information about other poets and how they formatted their poems. It's a fun and beautiful homage.

Review cross-listed here
Austin Poulin
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very good book filled with many different styles of poems each very well wrote. To go along with each of the poems there was also a picture that fit seamlessly with the poem. My favorite was the poem called "For Our Children's Children." I liked this poem because there was a lot of description which made it very enjoyable to read. I recommend this book to anybody who is looking for a great book filled with poetry.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I absolutely loved this book! Alexander, Colderley, and Wentworth chose twenty of their favorite poets and wrote poems in celebration of them. Some of these poems imitated their styles, some described some aspect of their lives or poetry, and some captured the essence of the poet’s message. There wasn’t one poem that I didn’t like, and all of them made wonderful read-alouds. Even Kwame Alexander’s introduction read like a prose poem. Efua Holmes’ colorful illustrations were joyful and perfect. A ...more
Suzanne Maley
I can’t see kids understanding these poems. The illustrations are beautiful though.
Christine Fitzgerald
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book of poems that honor poets of the past. What a great way to hook kids into poetry they might have missed. My favorite poem in the book had these lines;
"Grab a pencil
some paper

Let loose your heart-
raise your voice."
Stephanie Bange
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kwame Alexander has made it his life’s work to share the joy of reading and writing poetry with others. He enlisted poets Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth to help him create this anthology to pay homage to twenty of their favorite poets. Each poem in the collection celebrates a different poet and shares insights into him or her as well. Divided into three sections, one part pays tribute to the styles and rhythms of the poets, one incorporates the feelings and themes of the poets, and the th ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, nonfiction
This book is an exploration of famous poets through poems in their honor. Each one captures a sense of that poet whether it is in format itself or subject matter or simply a frame of mind. Turning the pages, one encounters new poets but also old friends. It is with those poets that one knows well that the book truly shines, the homage is clear and the cleverness of the poetry is wonderful.

I read many shining reviews of this book and still was unprepared for how great it is. This is a book that s
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s a delight to read each poem celebrating a poet and written in that poet’s ‘style’. This poem collection is packed with freshness, with so many layers going on at once. Poets celebrated include Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, Nikki Giovanni, and Langston Hughes, twenty in all.

Using bright, bold colors and shapes, Ekua, a fine artist, uses mixed-media collages to explore the poem’s message in visual form. Each poems’ illustration is uniquely and masterfully done. This is a treat for poetry lover
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonder is the best descriptor for how I feel about all aspects of this remarkable book! The poetry is beautifully written and wonderfully captures the essence of the work of each poet tribute. A GEM for classrooms and young readers and poets being introduced to the work and forms of these master poets.

And the ARTWORK! Oh my! Absolutely gorgeous and thoughtful. Ekua Homes is extraordinary and I want to frame every one of these for my house.

The back matter includes short interesting biographies of
Sandy Brehl
The title of this book comes from a quotation b y Lucille Clifton: "Poems come out of wonder, not out of knowing." This collection of work is a wonder, and encourages readers to learn more about the original poets on whose work these variations are based.
Using quality poetry to explore patterns, to attempt similar writing, and to compare with the works of others is a hallmark of quality teaching. This collection will be a must-have title for such teaching, and a "wanna-have" for anyone interest
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Should be on college syllabi for poetry classes. Will recommend to RI Mock Newbery committee. Not all the poems worked for me (in part because I'm not a fan of some of the poets being celebrated), but the sheer amount of work that went into this achievement is evident. Favorites:

I Like Your (celebrating e.e. cummings)
Jazz Jive Jam (celebrating Langston Hughes)
How Billy Collins Writes a Poem (celebrating Billy Collins)
No Idle Days (celebrating William Carlos Williams)

Also the artwork is gorgeous.
Leonard Kim
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Though I suggested Grimes' One Last Word wasn't helped by the juxtaposition of her work with her inspirations, it was still critical in a book like that to have them. Out of Wonder doesn't even do that, greatly reducing the value of this book for students. Though again I think the new poems would suffer if placed directly alongside their inspirations. This book has a nice conceit, but last year's When Green Becomes Tomatoes has raised the bar for sheer quality for poetry for children.
This book is awesome! I loved everything, from the preface to the notes at the end. The illustrations are beautiful. The poets who put together this collection more than do their inspirations justice. I legitimately squealed a little when reading both the e.e. cummings poem and the Billy Collins poem. They were so spot on!

I found myself feeling nostalgic for poetry as I read this. I have a ridiculous TBR stack right now but I hope I get a chance to wade into some poetry soon!
What a stunning collection that every classroom should have!

"...a trendsetter/ and a rule breaker/ crafting/ a new American voice..."
-No Idle Days, celebrating William Carlos Williams, by Chris Colderley (33)

"...let the sun enter your heart,/ and find a way/ to keep it there."
-Spin a Song, celebrating Rumi, by Marjory Wentworth (38)

"Know your beauty/ is a thunder/ your precious heart unsalable."
-Majestic, celebrating Maya Angelou, by Kwame Alexander (40)
Julie Rowse
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
Another picture book I'd use if I was still teaching English and poetry--really great poems written in the style of iconic poets throughout time. Would be cool to read these homage poems in conjunction with the original poets' work, then read poems by Alexander and his compatriots and have students try their hand at homage poems. Inception poetry! But truly, I loved these poems--several of them gave me hope on a day I was feeling hopeless.
This book is a wonderful collection of poems that celebrate the work and style of renowned poets such as Robert Frost, Walter Dean Myers, Emily Dickinson, and many others. These poems are beautifully illustrated with mixed media artwork. This would be a great companion to Keep a Pocket in Your Poem: Classic Poems and Playful Parodies by J. Patrick Lewis and a great addition to any bookshelf.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, poetry
Truly gorgeous, both poems and pictures! My absolute favorites include "The Music of the Earth" celebrating Pablo Neruda, "Tambourine Things" celebrating Judith Wright, and "Hue and Cry" celebrating Gwendolyn Brooks. I hope this book will inspire children to write their own poetry expressing wonder.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Before She Was Harriet
  • Grand Canyon
  • Wolf in the Snow
  • Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
  • Freedom in Congo Square
  • One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance
  • The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore
  • Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music
  • Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems
  • The Stuff of Stars
  • When a Wolf Is Hungry
  • A Different Pond
  • I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups
  • Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
  • Charlie & Mouse (Charlie & Mouse, #1)
  • Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
  • The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid
See similar books…
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children ...more

Related Articles

Jacqueline Woodson seems to have been born to be a writer. Even as a young child, she would write constantly.
42 likes · 6 comments