The recent Caldecott Honor for A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams doesn’t depend on the fact that William Carlos Williams’ poems are referenced throughout Sharon Creech’s Hate that Cat, in the opening lines of T4, a new novel in verse about a deaf girl in 1939 Nazi Germany, and in a recent episode of This American Life. The poems are referenced in all of these places because of the way the spare verse conveys that vivid imagery. The poems are accessible. If you remember just one poem it might very well be “The Red Wheelbarrow”. A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams is a beautifully illustrated biography of the life of the pediatrician who in his spare time wrote some of the most influential American poetry of the last century. While the factual information about William Carlos Williams’ life doesn’t run deep, the text complements Melissa Sweet’s mixed media illustrations. The illustrations incorporate several of Williams’ best-known poems. This new biography for kids is a great introduction to the poetry of William Carlos Williams.
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams