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Soul Looks Back in Wonder

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  40 reviews
"The selections are uniformly uplifting, with affirming messages about the heritage, strength and dreams of African Americans."—Publishers Weekly

In this compelling collection of words and pictures, the voices of thirteen major poets, including Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Walter Dean Myers, rise in response to the dazzling vistas and emotionally vivid portraits of aw
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Paperback, 40 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Puffin Books (first published November 1st 1993)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  111 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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Agnė
Soul Looks Back in Wonder is an illustrated collection of poems that celebrate the African-American spirit and are dedicated to "our precious young African sisters and brothers, who are our today and our tomorrow." The poems by thirteen major poets, such as Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Walter Dean Myers, were written to accompany Tom Feelings' stunning collage illustrations:



Since I don't read poetry on a regular basis, I probably don't know how to appreciate it properly. Still, I found mos
...more
Judy
I can not remember where I came across this title, but it arrived in my reserve selections at the library and I have loved reading it, taking in the beauty and texture of the illustrations, and immersing myself in the verse.

I think the best way for me to review this gem and remind myself of its contents is simply to include the introduction printed before the first poem......

Tom Feelings selected drawings of people he sketched while in Ghana and Senegal, West Africa; Guyana, South America; as we
...more
Leane
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Soul Looks Back in Wonder" combines the poetic talents of great African American writers such as Maya Angelou and Walter Dean Myers with the beautiful collage illustrations of Tom Feelings. Feelings describes African Americans' past, in a forward of the book, as a time when their creativity was stiffled. Now, where it was once oppressed, creativity is overflowing through visual art, music, and dance. This book was written, according to Feelings, because African American children of today need t ...more
Mandy Grathwohl
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Now is a time, maybe more than ever, that the African-American spirit needs celebrating. And Soul Looks Back in Wonder accomplishes this. Illustrator Tom Feelings reached out to many amazing black poets to contribute to this anthology, and none of them let the readers down. The poems contained within exult and celebrate blackness, they detail the struggles and strife that African-Americans have dealt with since their forefathers were forcibly taken to America centuries ago, and they tell the sto ...more
Ashley B.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-books
I loved the collection of poems this book has. There are so many talented writers in this book and their poems are beautiful. They are uplifting and encouraging to the reader. The positivity and the good vibes I get when I read through the poems creates an amazing reading experience. The poems are touching and definitely something I would use for a read aloud and discussion starters. Great book!
Hunter
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Education is an important element in the struggle for human rights. It is the means to help our children and people rediscover their identity and thereby increase self-respect. Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

- Malcolm X
Juliane Mcadam
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The poems and the illustrations are equally wonderful. I bought this book in hardcover many, many years ago. I just reread it. Still powerful.
Kayla Davis
Soul Looks Back in Wonder is a collection of poems by various writers meant to inspire younger generations of African American children and remind them of their roots. Illustrator, Tom Feelings, illustrates all of the poems. Much of the artwork throughout the book is very abstract, meshing shapes, designs, outlines, and images in a way that symbolizes the ideas of the poems. While the poems use poetic abstract language, the illustrations are similarly poetic. The abstractness between the relatio ...more
Pierre Arnette
Soul Looks Back in Wonder was written by Tom Feelings and I am glad I choose this book because it was a very powerful piece. This book contains a collection of Tom Feelings art and he has poetry to go along with every piece of art. Not only does he have poetry to go with the paintings, he has well renowned writers such as Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes lends their talents to go with his beautiful art. Langston Hughes wrote a poem specifically for this book because every other used something th ...more
Dynasty Zayas
Nov 27, 2015 added it
Shelves: poetry
Here is the story of Jack and his famous house as only award-winning artist Jeanette Winter could present it. The words of the classic nursery rhyme appear in a charming rebus puzzle, with added verses that place Jack's house on a hilltop. Witty paintings bursting with color and action show the satisfying havoc wreaked by the series of animal and human visitors who come up the hill. Young readers will delight in reciting the words of this cumulative rhyme that has entertained children for centur ...more
Shante' Polite
Nov 24, 2015 added it
Shelves: poetry
Title: Soul Looks Back in Wonder
Author: Maya Angelou
Publisher and Date: Puffin Books, 1999

A collaboration of poems by African American poets that help pass on their heritage of strength, endurance, beauty, love, knowledge, and creativity to the next generation. Artist Feelings invited poets whom he admired to compose original, short verses for these drawings, with breathtakingly rich and powerful results. A tribute to African-American creativity, the collection should appeal to the sensibilities
...more
Kaitlyn Tankersley
A collaboration of poems by African American poets that help pass on their heritage of strength, endurance, beauty, love, knowledge, and creativity to the next generation. Artist Feelings invited poets whom he admired to compose original, short verses for these drawings, with breathtakingly rich and powerful results. A tribute to African-American creativity, the collection should appeal to the sensibilities and imaginations of many readers, regardless of ethnic background. A never-before publish ...more
Jesse McMorris
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Soul Looks Back is written and illustrated by Tom Feelings. It was a collective about poems that have the most to do with nature and blackness. But the pictures were hands down the best in this book. The colors were bright and the pictures told a different story. Although you can’t see any emotion on any of their faces you know what they are feeling. The pictorial style is so simple but some of the images just have more complexity to them than anything. The talents of the poem writers really com ...more
Matlin
Feelings paid homage to a number of African American poets with this book, creating a picture to go with each poem. The goal of the book was to express African creativity, and to invoke positive feelings and hope in young African Americans. Each poem can be interpreted how the reader wishes, and the illustrations give a peek into how Feelings interpreted them. Collage and paint looked to be the medium for the pictures, and a vast majority of them had a large amount of brown in each. Dashes of ot ...more
John Sullivan
Soul Looks Back in Wonder, edited by Phyllis Fogelman and illustrated by Tom Feelings, is a book that contains a number of poems by famous African Americans. The illustrations were created using colored pencils and cut-out paper shapes. Feelings uses dark colors with the occasional green or yellow for contrast but despite the lack of color, the images are fantastic. Each one tells a different story, and they have to, since the text is short and simple. I really enjoyed the artwork and the suppor ...more
Audrey
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, poetry
This is a beautiful book, and one where the words and pictures truly make one another stronger. My only caveat (and this is not a criticism of the book itself at all) is that I don't think it's marketed towards its true audience. I found the book in the Elementary section of my library (which also houses Dr. Seuss), but I have a hard time imagining these poems appealing to the 3-7-year-old set. Most of them are about things that preoccupy older children, and I think the book's real home is with ...more
Lisa
Jul 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most powerful pieces in this book is the Forward -
'Today - the present - is a dangerous place for children of African descent, children of the sun. They are standing between childhood and adulthood, midway between the past and the future, pulled away from their center. They are removed from the benefits of ancient initiation rites - rites of passage designed to ease young people into manhood and womanhood, into the responsibilities and protection of full communal life. Too many teena
...more
CH13_PreciousAllen
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
"Soul Looks Back In Wonder" by Tom Feelings is a very emotional and inspiring picture book. Tom Feelings is an outstanding artist and he managed to capture the voices of thirteen famous poets. This poetry-picture books celebrates the spirit of Africa. Poets that are featured in this book include Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Walter Dean Myers. My favorite poem was one written by Mwatabu Okantah. The poem is titled "Window Morning" and tells of a the strength of the "Mother Land," also known ...more
Briana Nelson
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
This book is a collection of African American poets. Each poem is accompanied by an image representing life from different African American perspectives. The photos are mainly images of people posing in different outdoor scenes. Many of these images aren’t as appealing for young students because they are very complex and plain. Some photos are represented with various textures. The illustrator drew photos and cut out shapes to paste onto each drawing – combining various materials to make each il ...more
Taylor Washington
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Summary: A collaboration of poems by African American poets that help pass on their heritage of strength, endurance, beauty, love, knowledge, and creativity to the next generation.

Activity: During black history month, students will split into pairs or groups of 3 and do a project presentation where they will chose a poem to decode, research information on the poet, and a draw a picture to go with the poem.
Kiya
I really enjoyed reading this peom because the talents Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes did a great job to inspire young African American children to remember their roots. The illustrator Tom Feelings had awesome images painted with watercolor that expressed feeling and color of African Americans past this is a very beautful book the words and the pictures make the book powerful. This book is a good book to teach students about Maya Angelou the great.
Holly Nelson
Sep 17, 2012 rated it liked it
This book has 13 different poems are illustrated with the similar colors but different themes. The pictures show a unique theme of people celebrating the spirit of African Americans. The message in each poem is strong with the biggest message talking about each person’s heritage and dreams. Each illustration of the poem has different colors being used depending on the theme and message of the poem. People are also shown in each poem which connects the idea what the book is about.
Courtney Williams
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Summary: A collaboration of poems by African American poets that help pass on their heritage of strength, endurance, beauty, love, knowledge, and creativity to the next generation.

Activity: During black history month, students will split into pairs or groups of 3 and do a project presentation where they will chose a poem to decode, research information on the poet, and a draw a picture to go with the poem.
Kara Duncan
Oct 14, 2015 added it
Shelves: poetry
"Soul Looks Back in Wonder" is a series of short poems bound together. Each poem in this book is a little different, but they all center around a similar theme, which is a black character. I would use this book for a week. We would pick a poem out of the book each day and analyze it, ensuring we have comprehended.
Carmen
This book has wonderful pictures and the variety of poems are beautiful as well. Because some of the analogies and metaphors seem a little complex in a few of the poems, I would recommend it for grades 4th - 8th.
Jessica Bearden
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this poem book and that's rare because I normally don't like poems. This is a great poem book to let kids read. The poems about the African American ancestors and their life touch your soul. This is a must read!!
Kristine Hansen
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes the words speak directly to heritage, to race. At other times to creativity. The dual message leaves one with a feeling of peace, of hope. Beautiful words, illustrations that invite you in to stay for awhile until you understand them. Overall an excellent book.
Jazzmyne
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-books
The book, Soul Looks Back in Wonder, is a book that includes a collection of poems by Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and much more. I would read a selection of poetry as we enter into Black History month and to discuss the definition of a poem and the different types.
Kendall
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book represents the creativity of African Americans. This pictures in this book were amazing! I would use this book to teach a lesson on African Americans, black history month, or even just do a lesson on the art work. Great book!
Cailin Moore
This book has many poems from very important African Americans. Each one of them shared a poem that has a very strong meaning to them.
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Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, was an American poet, memoirist, actress and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. In 2001 she was named one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. Maya Angelou is known for her series of six autobiographies, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, (1969) which was ...more
“Try to be a rainbow in someones cloud

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
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