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Sail Away

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  157 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
A celebration of mermaids, wildernesses of waves, and the creatures of the deep through poems by Langston Hughes and cut-paper collage illustrations by multiple Coretta Scott King Award–winner Ashley Bryan.

The great African-American poet Langston Hughes penned poem after poem about the majesty of the sea, and the great African-American artist Ashley Bryan, who’s spent more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was first exposed to the works of Langston Hughes in the 8th grade, and to this day, he remains one of my favourite poets. In this picture book, many of his poems that either have to do with travelling or the sea were set to illustrations by the wonderful Ashley Bryan. I had not read all but two of the poems featured here, so it was definitely a nice read for me. The illustrations are also absolutely gorgeous. Definitely would recommend!
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm still learning about the wealth of Langston Hughes's poems, and one of my favorites, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", is beautifully juxtaposed against Bryan's multi-toned illustration. The other poems' illustrations actually helped me to better understand Hughes's use of personification in his allusions to the sea, rivers and rain.
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful collection of Langston Hughes poems brought to life by Ashley Bryan. Take note of the scissors in the end papers. Highly recommended for schools and libraries and as a gift for poets of any age.

Ashley Bryan is a national treasure. He's known rivers.
While I wasn't a huge fan of all the poems, there were a few I enjoyed. What really set this book apart are the fantastic layered illustrations! The fish, scissors, and water were my favorites.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nonfiction/poetry/picture book



Sixteen of Langston Hughes poems about the sea come to life with illustrations by Ashley Bryan.

A characteristic of a poetry book is that the poems' images delight the senses of a child. Certain poems in this collection do have
I bought this book for the Langston Hughes poetry and discovered another artist who is just as spectacular - the illustrator Ashley Bryan!

Ashley Bryan has created gorgeous collage illustrations to accompany each poem using his mother's scissors that she used in sewing and embroidery. He is now 93 years old and has published over fifty books. I am grateful to discover him today.

The joy that leaps off of the page from these illustrations celebrates Langston Hughes poetry sublimely. My favorite po
Kayla Graham
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This juvenile poetry is colorful both through illustrations and text. As a collection of poems there is no one main character, however each poem centers around some attribute of the sea. Hughes' personification of the sea mixed with Bryan's vivid illustrations helps the read dance along with the poems just like waves on water. Casting an overarching theme of finding soul in every piece of the world around you.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, school-library
For kids, poetry is tough. I think these poems are fabulous and provoke discussion, but are too deep for young kids. The pictures do a great job illustrating each poem, but there is still too much to explain, which would make the poems lose their effectiveness.
Gabby Gantt
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
This collection of poems if captivating with its picture book format filled with color and theme driven artwork. Every other page of this collection contains no more than a stanza or two. Each poem follows the theme of nautical experiences and life lessons.
Miss Sarah
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
A short collection of poems by Langston Hughes vibrantly illustrated. Simple and easy to follow. preschool and up
Anna Wilson
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title: Sail Away
Author: Langston Hughes
Illustrator: Ashley Bryan
Genre: Poetry
Theme(s): Sea, Nature, Ocean
Opening line/sentence: “Big Boy came/ Carrying a mermaid/ On his shoulders/ And the mermaid/ Had her tail/ curved/ Beneath his arm.”
Brief Book Summary:
Sail Away by Langston Hughes is a collection of short poems about the sea. Each poem is no more than 3 brief stanzas. All together there are 15 poems.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Jeanne McDermott (Booklist, Sep. 1, 2015 (Vol. 112,
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love the rich bold colors used in the illustrations good mix of poems some funny others more contemplative.
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, art, english
“Sail Away” written by Langston Hughes and imaginatively illustrated by Ashley Bryan is book for children that provides beautiful introduction to the world of poetry – due to its creativity, of both text and illustrations, it seems as a good choice for preschool child to spark creativity and soon become one of the favorite picture books.

On its pages young reader will find beautiful collection of Langston Hughes poems that speak about water, but what sets it apart from many other, similar books a
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit, poetry
I often talk about how stupid I think poetry is. Like, no offense to it, but I would almost always rather read something straightforward than something super cheesy and not great. But when I read poetry by an actual awesome poet like Langston Hughes, I remember that poetry can be amazing and beautiful. This is a very nice collection with some fantastic pictures by Ashley Bryan. I wish there had been a bit more commentary about why these specific poems were chosen-I didn't always see the connecti ...more
This is a beautiful introduction to the poetry of Langston Hughes, illustrated in papercut collage by the great artist Ashley Bryan (age 91!). "The scissors shown on the endpapers are the scissors that my mother used in sewing and embroidery and that I, in turn, used in cutting the colored papers for all the collage compositions in this book." My only complaint is that sometimes poems need quiet and space for contemplation, especially these about the vastness of water, which are all illustrated ...more
Aleisha Douthitt
May 03, 2016 rated it liked it
This poem book is all about the sea and the mysteries of the sea and the oceans. The colors of the illustrations are bright and vivid, they are made out paper collages which make them unique and fun. Children love the ocean and are fascinated by it making this a great option for children. The poems are lively and beautifully written.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
Hughes has a way of connecting words and creating imaginary that stimulates all of your senses. The artwork is abstract, colorful and creative. A great picture book that is guaranteed to spark conversation. 4 stars
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, poetry
Beautiful illustrations of Langston Hughes' poems fill the pages of this picture book. As an added bonus the illustrator includes the scissors used to create the illustrations that have been used for multiple generations in her family on the back cover's illustration.
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow! I love these illustrations--so bright and colorful. The artist uses layered paper collages that truly reminded me of the shifting colors of the sea and sky, with a Caribbean color palate. Langston Hughes' poetry is a perfect fit with these lovely pictures.
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Listed in CCBC Choices 2016 under Poetry. Langston Hughes poetry with Ashley Bryant art is a great match. Wished for something in the back like an author/illustrator note with information about Langston Hughes. Sweet Spot: Grade 1-4
Cara Byrne
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it
A colorful, joyful collection featuring a collection of Hughes' nautical poems. The best image is accompanying the final poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." It's a beautiful homage to such an important poem.
Ashley Bryan does great honor here to the work of Langston Hughes with her entrancing collages. It's a beautiful collection of poems and pictures. And organizing the selection topically around the theme of water seems like a good way for introducing children to Langston's powerful poetry.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
A simple collection of some poems by Langston Hughes. The illustrations are beautiful collages, and the poems revolve around sea themes. A couple might be complicated for children, but could create good opportunities to practice multiple interpretations. Probably K-3 grade.
A selection of poetry by Langston Hughes about water and water imagery set against stunningly vibrant cut paper collage artwork.

This is a great collection and a must-see piece of artwork. I LOVE "April Rain Song."

This book reads like the most beautiful dream.

Robin Raines-Bond
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautiful Langston Hughes poems set in brilliant colorful paper collage scenes.
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Ashley Bryan's paper cut illustrations perfectly compliment the collection of sea-themed Langston Hughes poems.
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A bold picture book, featuring stirring poems by Langston Hughes and beautiful illustrations by Ashley must be pored over!! And I was happy to oblige.
Angie  Moore
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations!
Joan Marie
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Vibrant cut-paper illustrations capture the tone of Langston Hughes' poems.
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations make Hughes's poems more accessible to children. Lovely collection.
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Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "Harlem was in vogue."
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