Tai Chi Morning by Nikki Grimes
Snapshots of China

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Tai Chi Morning is simply, as the title implies, snapshots of China seen through the lens of a poet’s eye. It is a collection of moments, a personal record of an outsider’s first experience of China." (From the introduction)

In 1988, poet Nikki Grimes spent three weeks along the east coast of China. Like any curious tourist, she observed and touched, sniffed and tasted. But unlike most, she poured those sensations into poetry. Distilling the delight and confusion of an African American traveler thousands of miles from home, her poems take a thoughtful, sometimes playful, look at an outsider’s sense of self.
As it happened, around the same time, artist Ed Young was visiting his native China--as always, writing and sketching his impressions in a personal journal. Like Nikki, Ed witnessed signs of the old China alongside the new. Like the poet, the artist caught hold of them and set them down on paper.
Through Nikki’s wry but penetrating verse and Ed’s deft, revealing drawings, in Tai Chi Morning the journeys of a visiting American poet and an artist returning home unwind side by side in counterpoint.

About Nikki Grimes

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Nikki Grimes was born and raised in New York City. She began writing poetry at age six and is well-known for writing award-winning books primarily for children and young adults. Bronx Masquerade and Talkin' About Bessie both won Coretta Scott King Awards, and her poetry collections featuring Danitra Brown are very popular. Grimes received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 2006. She has written articles for magazines including Essence and Today's Christian Woman, as well as hosted radio programs in New York and Sweden. She has lectured and read her poetry at schools in Russia, China, Sweden, and Tanzania. Grimes is also a prolific artist, creating works of fiber art, beaded jewelry, peyote beading, handmade cards, and photography. Ed Young received the Caldecott Medal for "Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China, " as well as Caldecott Honors for his illustrations in "The Emperor and the Kite, " written by Jane Yolen, and for his book "Seven Blind Mice." His work appears in "The Hunter: A Chinese Folktale" by Mary Casanova and "Donkey Trouble, " which he authored; "White Fang" by Jack London; and "Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China" by Ai-Ling Louie. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
Published January 14, 2004 by Cricket Books. 51 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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In one of the many standouts, ""Huang Shan & the Great Wall,"" Grimes writes, ""I, Huang Shan am living, breathing/ deftly carved by Heaven's hand./ What makes you great, you wingless dragon,/ wriggling lifeless through the land?"" A photograph of the Great Wall, and Young's image of the mass...

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