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Friday, December 18, 2015

CHANGES BY CHARLOTTE ZOLOTOW



If she were still alive, Charlotte Zolotow would turn 100 this year. Just in case you don't know Zolotow's work, she was an editor of children's books, and worked with authors like Laura Ingalls Wilder, Maurice Sendak, and Arnold Lobel. And she was the author of more than 90 books of her own, including William's Doll, Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present, and My Grandson Lew. Zolotow actually died in 2013, in the home she had lived in for more than 55 years.

It seems only fitting, then, to honor her long legacy with a new book. CHANGES came out this year. The book includes 28 poems, arranged according to season. There is also a foreword by Zolotow's daughter, Crescent Dragonwagon.  The poems are lovely, and gentle, and cyclical, and comforting. A perfect lap book for opening a young child's ear and heart to poetry.


"Change"

This summer
still hangs
heavy and sweet
with sunlight
as it did last year

The autumn
still comes
showering cold and crimson
as it did last year.

The winter
still stings
clean and cold and white
as it did last year.

The spring
still comes
like a whisper in the dark night.

It is only I
who have changed.

(C) Charlotte Zolotow


Then a winter poem (which only seems fitting, since I actually wrote this post on Tuesday, when we had a very rare snow day in Denver).

Contrast
As I watch the snow fall
big, slow white flakes
like feathers floating down,
my hands are cold.

It's hard to remember
the summer
and soaking up the sun
feeling its warmth
seep through me
deep through me
down to these frozen toes.

(C) Charlotte Zolotow, 2015

Head over to Diane Mayr's Random Noodling for more poetry offerings.

4 comments:

Linda B said...

I love Zolotow, so thanks for telling about this new book, Carol. I wrote from our snow too this week. Love the thought, trying to remember when we were so, so hot just a few months ago. It certainly is a week to remember! Happy Christmas!

Diane Mayr said...

Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present is a gift of a book--one of my favorites.

I like the poems in Changes because they're appropriate for younger kids, yet they don't rhyme. It sometimes feels like we overfeed little ones rhyme. Changes is a nice switch.

cb hanek said...

Thank you so much for honoring Charlotte Zolotow. "William's Doll" is one of my all-time favorite books. What a blessing Changes will be, as positive changes are, even when we fight them, trying our best to negate them. God bless you! Posthumous happy birthday wishes to a children's literary hero.

Alysa Stewart said...

Beautiful poems! I will have to find a copy of this one. I love Helen Frost's poetry, have you read any of her books? Diamond Willow made a Cybils shortlist, I think.