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Life Doesn't Frighten Me Hardcover – February 6, 1993
100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime
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From Publishers Weekly
Boyers, a TV producer and art collector, deserves a standing ovation for her performance in pairing Angelou's poem with abstract paintings by the late Basquiat. "Dragons breathing flame / On my counterpane / That doesn't frighten me at all. / I go boo / Make them shoo / I make fun / Way they run / I won't cry / So they fly"--had it been teamed with representational or whimsical illustrations, the verse might well have lost its dignity; instead, the proximity of Basquiat's edgy, streetwise pictures adds even greater power and authenticity to Angelou's refrain, "Life doesn't frighten me at all." Conversely, the affirming quality of the poem mediates Basquiat's disquieting urban images. Basquiat's first works were drawn onto the walls of Manhattan buildings, and the frenzied, sometimes angry compositions here have the rawness of graffiti. The reproductions invite close scrutiny, implicitly teaching the viewer a way of approaching contemporary art and reinforcing the tough beauty of the poem. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-A unique book that combines the words of a renowned African-American poet laureate and the primitive, modern paintings of a young Haitian-American artist. With lines of verse that shout exuberantly from each page, a young voice rails against any and all things that mean to do her harm. Whether they are "Shadows on the wall/ Noises down the hall" or even "Mean old Mother Goose/Lions on the loose"-to one and all she responds- "they don't frighten me at all." In the middle, the pace and intensity quicken as "I go boo/Make them shoo/I make fun/Way they run." Despite the scary things around her, the poet's determined courage remains. The art provides a jolting counterpoint to the optimistic words, reflecting a dark, intense vision. Violent splashes of color bleed and drip one into another, and white letters are scratched into black backgrounds. Stark figures with grotesque features face off against one another. Symbols such as arrows, birds, crowns, and letters emphasize the artist's anger and sense of irony. The choice of the paintings, taken as they were from an extant body of work, give levels of meanings to a poem already strong with images of its own. A powerful exploration of emotion and its expression through the careful blend of words and art.
Jane Marino, White Plains Public Library, NY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
i am not sure the imagery and the poem resonates with kids the way one would hope. that said..... two incredible artists showcased on this type of platform really is lovely.
2-3 year olds may find it a tiny bit frightening but love it nonetheless.
Your mind will become quite activated.
I am not a big fan of Angelou's poetry but this poem is very relevant for most children and it has a lovely repetitive quality. It's also a good candidate for memorization. I would recommend this for any child or adult.