Neighborhood Odes
Neighborhood Odes
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Annotation: Twenty-one poems about growing up in an Hispanic neighborhood, highlighting the delights in such everyday items as sprinklers, the park, the library, and pomegranates.
Genre: Poetry
Catalog Number: #4687324
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Harcourt
Copyright Date: 1992
Edition Date: 2005
Illustrator: Diaz, David,
Pages: 68 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-15-205364-6
ISBN 13: 978-0-15-205364-2
Dewey: 811
LCCN: 91020710
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Set in a Mexican American neighBORhood, these odes celebrate subjects such as tortillas, tennis shoes, libraries, pi{¤}natas, weddings, and pomegranates. Sprinkled throughout the unrhymed verse, Spanish words give a flavor of difference, though many of the experiences are universal. For those who don't read Spanish and can't make out the sense from the context, a glossary is appended. Stylized black-and-white paper collages illustrate the book in an unobtrusive, playful way. Written by the AUTHor of Baseball in April and Other Stories the selections vary in quality. While individual images are sometimes acute and distinctive, the poems are generally prosaic in language and effect. Recommended for larger poetry collections and libraries seeking Hispanic voices. (Reviewed June 15, 1992)
Horn Book
Twenty-one poems, all odes, celebrate life in a Hispanic neighborhood. With humor, sensitivity, and insight, Soto explores the lives of children. Diaz's contemporary black-and-white illustrations, which often resemble cut paper, effortlessly capture the varied moods of this remarkable collection. With a glossary of thirty Spanish words and phrases.
Kirkus Reviews
The memories and experiences of Hispanic children are celebrated in a collection of short-lined poems from the author of Baseball in April (1990). With the one exception of the deliciously shivery ``Ode to La Llorona'' (a weeping ghost), the mood ranges from tired happiness to downright exuberance. A girl boasts that she doesn't have to pay for raspados (snow-cones) because her father drives the ice-cream truck; Pablo goes to bed without a bath because ``he wants to be/Like his shoes,/A little dirty''; a child eats a spoonful of ground chile pepper from the molcajete (mortar), to his huge regret; others fondly recall picnics, a wedding, the library, running through the sprinkler, and similar pleasures of a California neighborhood. Diaz's occasional illustrations, with the sharp-edged black areas of woodcuts or paper silhouettes, are angular and stylized to near abstraction. Soto's language leans slightly toward the formal (as befits an ode) and is sprinkled with Spanish words, clear in context but also translated in a glossary. (Poetry. 10-12)"
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-- The rewards of well-chosen words that create vivid, sensitive images await readers of this collection of poems. Through Soto's keen eyes, they see, and will be convinced, that there is poetry in everything. The odes celebrate weddings, the anticipation of fireworks, pets, grandparents, tortillas, and the library. Although Soto is dealing with a Chicano neighborhood, the poetry has a universal appeal. A minor drawback is that the Spanish words are not translated on the page, but in a glossary; to consult it interrupts the reading. Still, children will surely recognize the joy, love, fear, excitement, and adventure Soto brings to life. It is the same sensitivity and clarity found in Baseball in April (HBJ, 1990), his collection of short stories. Black-and-white illustrations blend well with the astute verbal imagery. Each selection is an expression of joy and wonder at life's daily pleasures and mysteries. --Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 4 Up-- The rewards of well-chosen words that create vivid, sensitive images await readers of this collection of poems. Through Soto's keen eyes, they see, and will be convinced, that there is poetry in everything. The odes celebrate weddings, the anticipation of fireworks, pets, grandparents, tortillas, and the library. Although Soto is dealing with a Chicano neighborhood, the poetry has a universal appeal. A minor drawback is that the Spanish words are not translated on the page, but in a glossary; to consult it interrupts the reading. Still, children will surely recognize the joy, love, fear, excitement, and adventure Soto brings to life. It is the same sensitivity and clarity found in Baseball in April (HBJ, 1990), his collection of short stories. Black-and-white illustrations blend well with the astute verbal imagery. Each selection is an expression of joy and wonder at life's daily pleasures and mysteries. --Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Word Count: 5,368
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 70375 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q08279
Lexile: NP

Award-winning poet Gary Soto and Caldecott winner David Diaz turn their eyes on the world of kids. From family pictures to pinatas, from the gato with a meow like a rusty latch to Fourth of July fireworks, the startling and often overlooked moments that define childhood are vividly brought to life by these two acclaimed talents.

Ode to los raspados
Ode to la tortilla
Ode to the sprinkler
Ode to Senor Leal's goat
Ode to mi perrito
Ode to los chicharrones
Ode to Pablo's tennis shoes
Ode to la llorona
Ode to mi parque
Ode to mi gato
Ode to my library
Ode to la pinata
Ode to a day in the country
Ode to el guitarron
Ode to fireworks
Ode to weight lifting
Ode to weddings
Ode to pomegranates
Ode to el molcajete
Ode to family photographs
Ode to the mayor.

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