And Everything Will Be Glad To See You: Poems by Women and Girls

This is an inspiring collection of poetry, gorgeously illustrated and presented. The cloth bound cover promises magic within, and the book delivers on every page. Editor Ella Risabridger’s introduction sets the tone and both it and the conclusion are thought provoking and beautiful. They whisper gently about acceptance of all our different ways of being, about stepping into our own power and what it means to be alive in this time.

The poetry starts with Nikita Gill and it ends over 140 pages later with Maya Angelou. In between there are treasures from Grace Nichols, Emily Dickinson, Carol Ann Duffy, Mary Oliver, Jackie Kay and many, many more. Some are voices from times past and some are contemporary voices. There are poems of hope and of understanding. There are poems about identity and culture. There are poems about big questions and poems that look at ordinary life in all its wonder. It is a journey through time, and into differing perspectives.

The poetry flows through this book on pages of magical artwork. Shepeta has created gloriously rich full spreads, alive in their colour and detail. The art is powerful in its simplicity and vibrancy, and creates a truly sumptuous feel to every page.

The publisher recommends this book from age 5, and this reviewer reckons the book is perfect for gifting to younger readers, teens, and older. It is a book for igniting a love of poetry, a book that young people will cherish into their adulthood.