On Wings of Words
★“The life of Emily Dickinson is in good hands with picture book biographer Jennifer Berne… On Wings of Words is a reverent tribute to Dickinson’s singular contributions to the world of poetry.”
—BookPage, starred review
An A Mighty Girl 2020 Book of the Year
An inspiring and kid-accessible biography of one of the world's most famous poets.
Emily Dickinson, who famously wrote Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul is brought to life in this moving story. 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. In those small things, her brilliant imagination can see the wide world—and in her words, she takes wing. From celebrated children's author Jennifer Berne comes a lyrical and lovely account of the life of Emily Dickinson: her courage, her faith, and her gift to the world. With Dickinson's own inimitable poetry woven throughout, this lyrical biography is not just a tale of prodigious talent, but also of the power we have to transform ourselves and to reach one another when we speak from the soul.
• Fantastic educational opportunity to share Emily Dickinson's story and poetry with young readers
• An inspirational real-life story that will appeal to children and adults alike.
• Jennifer Berne is the author of critically acclaimed children's biographies of Albert Einstein and Jacques Cousteau.
Fans who enjoyed Emily Writes: Emily Dickinson and her Poetic Beginnings, Emily and Carlo, and Uncle Emily will love On Wings of Words.
Jennifer Berne is the award-winning author of the biographies Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau and On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein. She lives in Copake New York.
★“Adroitly incorporating language and imagery from Dickinson's poems as well as whole lines and stanzas, the neatly hand-lettered, lyrical text appropriately focuses on how Emily's rich inner life crystallized into her remarkable poetry. Splendid illustrations… Inspired use of the butterfly motif captures the poet's enigmatic spirit. Stunning.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★“Berne’s finely chosen words echo Dickinson’s poetic proclivities… Lines from Dickinson’s poems punctuate Berne’s text, reflecting themes of nature, wonder, and joy. Stadtlander’s modern folkloric gouache and watercolor illustrations seamlessly merge realism and fantasy.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
★“The life of Emily Dickinson is in good hands with picture book biographer Jennifer Berne (On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein) … Becca Stadtlander’s detailed, folk art-style illustrations capture Dickinson’s world and bring shape to the metaphors Berne employs to signify Dickinson’s growth as a poet. On Wings of Words is a reverent tribute to Dickinson’s singular contributions to the world of poetry.”
—BookPage, starred review
★“With gentle reverence and eloquence, Jennifer Berne (On a Beam of Light) introduces young readers to Emily Dickinson in this winsome picture book biography. . . . Much like Dickinson's poems, the rich, detailed illustrations [of Becca Stadtlander] are full of vibrant and improbable life. On Wings of Words is a visually stimulating introduction to an amazing poet.”
—Shelf Awareness, starred review
“[On Wings of Words] illuminates the poet’s life and creativity in an accessible way for young poetry enthusiasts. . . . Stadtlander’s striking gouache and watercolor illustrations are as dreamy and enigmatic as the subject herself. A fine addition to most biography or poetry collections for libraries in search of resources on Dickinson for young readers.”
—School Library Journal
"[On Wings of Words] is a lyrical appreciation of Dickinson’s skill with words. . . Stadtlander’s sumptuous illustrations masterfully blend the historical and the fantastical to showcase Dickinson’s surroundings or imagination."
—Horn Book Magazine