Book review: The Watcher, by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Grimes, Nikki. The Watcher. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Eerdmans Books, 2017. $17.00. ISBN 9780802854452. Unpaged. Ages 6-10. P6Q9

This unique book took me by surprise! It is written in a form of poetry called the golden shovel and uses Psalm 121 to create a compelling story about friendship by using the words from the psalm as the ending word on each page. The back and forth story between classmates, Jordan and Tanya, reveals fear and distrust between the two. Tanya acts like a bully, and Jordan wants to avoid her. Both characters have obstacles to overcome, and by the end of the story the two break down the barriers that have prevented friendship.

VERDICT: This book would be both a valuable addition to a classroom poetry unit, as well as a meaningful book on a library shelf.

May 2018 review by Denyse Marsh.

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