I Carry Your Heart with Me

E E Cummings, Author, Mati Rose McDonough, Illustrator
e.e. cummings, illus. by Mati McDonough. Cameron + Company (PGW, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-937359-52-2
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In her first children's book, artist McDonough imagines the mother-child relationship as the centerpiece for the e.e. cummings love poem “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]," written using its original format and punctuation. In serene mixed-media collages, a mother with soulful eyes, rosy cheeks, and her hair in a short, black bob accompanies her daughter through the early stages of her young life, from infancy to her daughter's first excursion into the world on her own. Tucked within a cozy nest or seen flying overhead, a cut-paper mother bird and its offspring mimic the mother and child during their bonding moments, as do two whimsical paper elephants, scrawled in cursive ink and newsprint. Decorative hearts, leaves, water motifs, and assorted fabrics are also integrated throughout, complementing rather than overwhelming McDonough's rich, solid colors. The message of growth, nurturing, and boundless love will reach readers, while Cummings's emotional and succinct verse stands autonomously: “and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant/ and whatever a sun will always sing is you." Ages 2–6. (Apr.)
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