Traveling the Blue Road

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

This book contains a wonderful collection of poems relating to multiple maritime journeys from the past and present. Poems range from 1492 when Columbus sailed in search of the Indies up to the Sama-Bajau people, present day. There are many other voyages shared including the Pilgrims' Mayflower journey to America for religious freedom, The Middle Passage, and the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 to name a few.

We appreciated all of the poems. Many are extremely powerful, emotional, and capture your attention with ease. Some of the poems and illustrations may evoke fear in younger children and may be difficult for them to understand because a few involve slavery, kidnapping and death, but they are honest and share truth about our history, presenting information not typically shared in traditional textbooks.

I really appreciated that the author included a note's section to describe each historical event so that children who may not be fully aware of them obtain insight. The writing is also very easy for them to understand. I was also very pleased that the author included an 'about' section which gives you a little biographical information about each poet. In addition, the illustrations in this book are striking, eye-catching, and convey the hardships experienced during these times.

My personal opinion is that this book would be perfect for elementary students, primarily 4th grade and up. I believe it's listed at 3rd grade and up, but I think it's best for older children, or children that have a fairly good understanding about these tough times in history. The poems are compelling and will more than likely spark interest, motivating kids to ask questions. It's a wonderful supplement to history curriculum's and it's definitely going down as one of my favorite children's books of 2018. 

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This is an absolutely amazing and gorgeous book. The picturestimated and poems take you to the sea and leave you wanting to stay. I would want this for my collection and would make a very nice addition to a library.
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Sadly, due to personal issues, I wasn't able to get to this book before it was archived off NetGalley and I can't afford to buy it right now. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to read this work at some point in the future!
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My copy only showed me 6 pages so that was a bit of a disappointment but of the pages that did download, I was impressed. Beautiful images and a range of poems.
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A haunting collection of poems surrounding the sea and those brave enough to voyage it.

Traveling the Blue Road is a collection of ocean-oriented poems curated by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Each poem-voyage is pair with stunning artwork. These poems range from Columbus’ travels, the Mayflower voyage, and the Irish potato famine, to slave ships and modern day refugee flights, among other topics.

While I greatly appreciated the beautiful poetry and artwork, my middle-of-the-road rating is due to the synopsis and marketing. It is billed as “a carefully curated collection of kid-friendly poetry about the ever inspiring subject of the ocean” and “a collection of poetry for children on the themes of the courage, beauty, and promise of sea voyages.” 

No, son. This is not 'kid-friendly’. Most of the poems do not emphasise beauty and promise, and even the ones that do are darker in nature. Many of the poems deal with weighty topics like slavery and refugees fleeing terrible conditions. Instead of the ‘8-12’ age range, I feel this collection is more appropriate to young adult and adults, beginning around age 12. 

***Many thanks to Netgalley and Quarto Publishing/ Seagrass for providing an egalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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As other reviewers have mentioned, the illustrations and cover are simply beautiful.  Each page has a colourful and striking picture and in this sample of the book, it certainly draws the reader in.

From the limited pages given, it looks like the poetry is following a time sequence (examples range from descriptions of the travels of Christopher Columbus to the modern day.  However the poetry is somewhat darker in tone and subject matter than I expected, and I would feel uncomfortable using the book with primary children.  It has the makings of a great anthology for Key Stage 3.
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Beautiful illustrations but the poems  were less to my taste. I would look at other items with this illustrator.
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What a beautifully illustrated book!  The copy I was given for review had just six of at least 27 pages, but I was thoroughly impressed with the little I saw.  The images are incredible and could be a book of their own.  I am curious to learn more about the Sama-Bajau, thanks to G. Neri’s poem.  Georgia Heard’s line “Hunger took small bites out of hope” is provoking, as is Paul Janeczko’s “fear a constant companion.”
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Not exactly the type of poems I was expecting based on the title.  Also, not sure I agree with the target audience of 8-11-year olds.  The illustrations were my favorite part of the book.  Poetry is very subjective, so I say give it a go, but do not expect romantic poems about the beautiful moon glistening off the water.
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Absolutely beautifully composed, illustrated, and told.
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The title would lead one to believe the book is about the adventure and romance of the ocean.  Instead, the reader is left with a boding sense of fear, despair, and futility.  I feel like the book was one big bait and switch.  

The target audience for this book is supposed to be 8-11 year olds.  As an elementary teacher and as a mother, I say no.  The subject matter presented in these few poems is too dark, too difficult, and too abstract for children these ages.  Perhaps for high schoolers it might work, but even then, the poems would need a lot of extra teaching for context and the students would need emotional support when confronted with some of the themes.  That these are historical happenings is fine, but the poems presented without context would be confusing to students.  Certainly they could serve as springboards to greater discussions with mature students.

The artwork, though, is beautiful.  Each illustration is layered, textured, and surprisingly colorful, even if all in shades of blues and purples and greens.  I found myself staring at the pictures for several minutes.  But then the words crept back in, and I turned the pages, hoping the next page would be more hopeful.  Alas, no.  I don’t understand why the editor and illustrators worked so hard on a book that only included five poems across 32 pages.  

I received this book as an eARC from the author, publisher, and NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.
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A collection of poems about the sea and those who travels its paths.

So I thought this ARC would be the complete book, but it is just 10 pages (5 poems) of the 32 pages in the book. It’s hard to judge the entire collection from just 1/3 of the poems, but those that were shared are all a bit bittersweet or the kind that make you pause and think. They were from different points in history, and judging by the headings at the top it looks like the book must be organized by time period. The illustrations are a mix of woodcuts and background paintings. Some of them are truly beautiful. From what I read, it seems to be a thoughtful collection of poems that would be good for middle grade classrooms.
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There are five poems that was provided by the publisher for the reading copy of this anthology, which was compiled and edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins. The illustrations drawn by Bob Hansman and Jovan Hansman are captivating and strikingly represents the poems' message. 

The titles of the poems included in the file are: Voyage by Paul B. Janeczko; Hunger Ship: 1847 by Georgia Heard; Mediterranean Blue by Naomi Shihab Nye; Men of Waves and Sea by G. Neri; and Seas Seas by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

The poems in the sample copy tackles various issues from different centuries; such as Columbus' Voyage for the fifteenth century, and Irish potato famine during the nineteenth century. There are poems that addressed present-day matters like the Mediterranean refugee crisis on 2014, and the migration of some Sama Bajau from the Philippines to Malaysia on 2015. 

These poems are not only fascinating, but informative and an eye opener as well on what happened in the past as well as the current happenings. I consider the most remarkable poems in the sample copy are the Mediterranean Blue and Men of Waves and Sea, especially the latter.
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Beautifully compiled! The poems captured history in a beautiful way.
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