Friday, April 13, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Emily
Author/Illustrator: Michael Bedard/Barbara Cooney
Publisher/Date: A Doubleday Book for Young Readers/ 1992
Genre/Audience: Historical Fiction/Grades 3-5

Themes: Emily Dickinson; Neighborliness; poetry

Opening: "There is a woman on our street they call the Myth....  She hasn't left her house in nearly twenty years.  If strangers come to call, she runs and hides herself away.  Some people say she's crazy.  But to me she's Emily...."

Synopsis: From School Library Journal: "A young girl whose family has just moved into the neighborhood describes her first encounter with the inhabitant of the yellow house across the road. Called ``the Myth'' by some, deemed crazy by others, she is, in fact, the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson. An air of mystery surrounds the woman as the child overhears her parents discussing their neighbor. When the girl's mother is invited to the yellow house to play the piano, curiosity deepens. The first meeting and special gifts exchanged between the girl and the poet are described in this imaginative and unusual picture book. In keeping with a story about a poet, the language of the text is lyrical."

Why I Love This Book In honor of National Poetry Month, I thought I would share this gem of a book; a fictious account of a girl's encounter with the reclusive Emily Dickinson.  It is a glimpse into the life of a mysterious and gifted poet where music, flowers, and words offered pleasure and hope when feeling blue.

A biography:
A collection of Emily Dickinson's poetry:
Lesson plan:

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. This is a shivers-up-the-spine kind of book, I can tell. I must read this. Thank you for sharing!

  2. What a fabulous hook that first line is! This sounds a truly compelling read! Thank you, Laura!

  3. What a great story. I love historical fiction done for picture books. These kids need more of these books. Emily Dickinson is one of my favorites. What a lovely opening. I have to have this. Adding it to my list. :-)

  4. This one is an excellent book, I picked it up at the library last month. Thanks, Laura!

  5. As you described Emily, I knew this was about Emily Dickinson. I knew she had difficult with noise and required quiet. Ironically when I wrote my review today of "Ellie the Drama Queen," which is about sensory problems, if Emily Dickinson may have had some neurological issues going on. Back then it wouldn't have been diagnosed. But, I couldn't help but wonder. Nice review.

  6. Hi there Laura, I've also seen this featured for Nonfiction Monday several months back, and I knew that this is definitely a book I should find and read for myself. Emily Dickinson is a favorite.

  7. I had no idea Emily Dickinson was a recluse. And I love historical fiction. Excellent choice for this week!
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  8. Oh...I have to read this. I love poetry and Emily Dickinson is an icon. Thanks for adding it to the list.