Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 6 to 18
- Grade: k to 12
A splendidly illustrated collection of poems inspired by young children that address common themes such as having a hard day at school, feeling shy or being a newcomer.
The poems in Climbing Shadows were inspired by a class of kindergarten children whom poet and playwright Shannon Bramer came to know over the course of a school year. She set out to write a poem for each child, sharing her love of poetry with them, and made an anthology of the poems for Valentine’s Day.
This original collection reflects the children’s joys and sorrows, worries and fears, moods and sense of humor. Some poems address common themes such as having a hard day at school, feeling shy or being a newcomer, while others explore subjects of fascination — bats, spiders, skeletons, octopuses, polka dots, racing cars and birthday parties. Evident throughout the book is a love of words and language and the idea that there are all kinds of poems and that they are for everyone — to read or write.
Cindy Derby’s dreamy watercolor illustrations gently complement each poem. Beautiful, thoughtful, sensitive and funny, this is an exceptional collection.
Key Text Features
table of contents
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
About the authors
Shannon Bramer was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto. She is a playwright and poet who writes books for human beings of all ages. She is the author of suitcases and other poems (winner, Hamilton and Region Best Book Award), scarf, The Refrigerator Memory, Precious Energy, and Climbing Shadows: Poems for Children, illustrated by Cindy Derby. Shannon also conducts poetry workshops in schools and is the editor of Think City: The Poems of Gracefield Public School. Her plays (Monarita, The Collectors, and The Hungriest Woman in the World) have appeared in juried festivals across the country, among them: New Ideas (Toronto), the Women's Work Festival (St. John's), and Sarasvati FemFest (Winnipeg). Shannon's plays have all been developed in St. John's, Newfoundland, thanks to the Women's Work Festival, where she has returned with a new script-in-progress five times since 2009.
Cindy Derby is an author, illustrator and puppeteer. She has been a Grand Prize Winner of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Portfolio Award, and she has also been commissioned to create two original puppetry performances for festivals in the US and Scotland. Cindy has illustrated several picture books, including Climbing Shadows: Poems for Children (by Shannon Bramer), praised in Publishers Weekly for its “dreamlike paintings,” and she has written and illustrated How to Walk an Ant. She lives in San Francisco.
- Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
- Commended, NCTE Notable Poetry Book and Verse Novel