In celebration of Black History Month, we’ll be highlighting a diverse range of books – poetry, novels, memoirs and more – all written by Black American authors. Each of these works moved, engaged, delighted, enraged, and excited Island Free Library readers’ this past year, and we’ll be featuring one title every day through the month of February.
Today’s work is Eloise Greenfield’s Honey, I Love, a tender and vivid collection of love poems for children (and the child in all of us). Bright and descriptive lines are accompanied by illustrative drawings and portraits of the imagined speakers. Warm and lyrical, the poems explore love in various ways: the journey of Harriet Tubman, the pleasure of riding on a train, and the gift of being ourselves:
I’m a leaf turning red
I’m a loaf of brown bread
I’m a whatever I want to be
and anything I care to be
And when I open my eyes
What I care to be
Is me
Eloise Greenfield was a renowned poet and children’s book author – she published more than 48 picture books, novels, poetry and biographies for children. Born in 1929, Greenfield worked for many years at the U.S. Patent Office, where she began experimenting with writing poetry and songs. Drawn to writing as a means of depicting Black children and their families in a positive, joyful way, Greenfield was awarded the Hurston/Wright Foundation North Star Award for lifetime achievement, among many other literary awards. She lived and wrote in D.C. until her death at the age of 92 in August 2021. Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!