On Wings of Words

The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson

A TRUE TALE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP

Chronicle Books

(pub. 2.18.2020)

52 pages

Author: Jennifer Berne and illustrator: Becca Stadtlander

Character: Emily Dickinson

Overview:

"In a small New England town lives Emily Dickinson, a girl in love with small things—a flower petal, a bird, a ray of light, a word. But in those small things her brilliant imagination can see the wide world, and in her words she takes wings. From that vivid mind came poetry that touched the lives of millions and gave readers everywhere a doorway into their own secret souls, and a window from which to fly. Emily Dickinson, who famously wrote 'Hope is the thing/ with feathers that/ perches in the soul,' is brought to life in this moving story of her courage, her faith, and her gift to the world."


Tantalizing taste: "Emily began to dress in white. White like clouds. Like the foam on a wave.

White, like a cocoon in her room from which butterflies were born.

Butterflies that were poems that flew - with Emily - on wings of words.

People in the town said Emily was weird. Emily was strange.

But Emily didn't care what they said of her. Her world was somewhere else.

My Country is Truth."

And something more: Becca Stadtlander writes in her Artist's Note that "the real joy of illustrating this book was in the more abstract ideas of Emily's writing. To interpret this poetry visually was a challenge that broke through my usual way of thinking and helped me grow as an artist... My hope is that young readers will see the things they love in these images and be inspired by Emily's words."