Cover image for Jump back, Honey : poems
Jump back, Honey : poems
Dunbar, Paul Laurence, 1872-1906.
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Jump at the Sun, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
An illustrated collection of poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar, including "A Boy's Summer Song, " "The Sparrow, " and "Little Brown Baby."
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.1 2 Quiz: 28037 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS1556 .A4 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS1556 .A4 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS1556 .A4 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This joyous celebration of Paul Laurence Dunbar illuminates the beauty of Dunbar's poems. Young readers will rejoice in this vibrant collection, which resounds with a music all its own. Here, you'll find many poems that are considered classics -- "Little Brown Baby, " "When Malindy Sings, " "Dawn" -- and several others that have made Paul Laurence Dunbar one of the most cherished of American poets. A rich collection that is at once playful and poignant, Jump Back, Honey is a gem to grace every bookshelf -- an unforgettable treasure that begs to be read again and again. In this beautiful book, the award-winning artists offer muses and memories of Paul Laurence Dunbar's poetry. Art styles range from watercolor to scratchboard, providing a lush, varied book that will delight readers of all ages

Author Notes

Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in June 27, 1872 in Dayton, Ohio. He was the son of ex-slaves and attended school at Dayton Central High School, the only African-American in his class. Dunbar was a member of the debating society, editor of the school paper and president of the school's literary society. He also wrote for Dayton community newspapers. He worked as an elevator operator in Dayton's Callahan Building until he established himself locally and nationally as a writer. He published an African-American newsletter in Dayton, the Dayton Tattler, with help from the Wright brothers.

Dunbar was the first African-American to gain national eminence as a poet. Oak and Ivy, his first collection, was published in 1892. As his book gained fame, Dunbar was invited to recite at the World's Fair, in 1893 where he met Frederick Douglass. Dunbar's second book, Majors and Minors, propelled him to national fame. A New York publishing firm, Dodd Mead and Co., combined Dunbar's first two books and published them as Lyrics of a Lowly Life. Dunbar then took a job at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He found the work tiresome, however, and the library's dust contributed to his worsening case of tuberculosis. He worked there for only a year before quitting to write and recite full time.

Depression and declining health drove him to drink, which further damaged his health. He continued to write, however. He ultimately produced 12 books of poetry, four books of short stories, a play and five novels. His work appeared in Harper's Weekly, the Sunday Evening Post, the Denver Post, Current Literature and a number of other magazines and journals. He died there on Feb. 9, 1906 at the age of 33.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6, younger for reading aloud. In a handsome collection for cross-generational sharing, these selected poems by the famous turn-of-the-century writer Dunbar have been illustrated by six leading children's book illustrators: Ashley Bryan, Carole Byard, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, and Faith Ringgold. At the back of the book, the illustrators talk about what the poetry has meant to them. In a fine introduction, Ashley Bryan and Andrea Davis Pinkney discuss the poet's work and influence, including the praise and criticism Dunbar received for sometimes writing in black dialect. Poems such as "Rain-Songs" and "The Sparrow" in standard English will appeal to children, but, in general the poems in dialect are livelier than the more formally poetic selections. Among the best are "The Colored Band" and "A Negro Love Song," both with Jerry Pinkney's rhythmic pencil-and-watercolor illustrations. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

This affectionate celebration of Paul Laurence Dunbar's (1872-1906) work features uniformly excellent illustrationsÄan engaging and coherent pastiche of various mediums and palettes that delight the eye. From Bryan's dazzling tempera and gouache painting of the dawn to Jerry Pinkney's enticing dust jacket illustrating a courting poem, the visual images beckon the reader to sample the energy and vitality of the poems. In a touching afterword, each illustrator discusses the value of Dunbar's poetry, both personally and in terms of African-American culture. However, despite these tributes to the ongoing influence of Dunbar's work and the editors' attempts to select verse that will translate well to contemporary children, the language of some poems may pose difficulties. Reading certain poems requires a willingness to leap across the barriers of dialect ("But be hea't goes into bus'ness fu' to he'p erlong de eah") or of the conventions of turn-of-the-century poetry ("Ah, Douglass, we have fall'n on evil days,/ Such days as thou, not even thou didst know"). Happily, one of Dunbar's gifts was his range of poetic styles; works such as the eloquent "Dawn" ("An angel, robed in spotless white,/ Bent down and kissed the sleeping Night./ Night woke to blush; the sprite was gone./ Men saw the blush and called it Dawn") will more easily introduce a new generation to Dunbar's legacy. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-A celebrity cast of illustrators enlivens 14 of Dunbar's poems. Opening with the bright colors of Ashley Bryan and the poem "Dawn," the carefully selected verses depict the full range of Dunbar's craft. There are poems in standard English, and some in dialect. The latter, placed in the middle of the book, include "A Negro Love Song," "Little Brown Baby," and others. The signature art by Carole Byard, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, and Faith Ringgold also grace these pages. The pictures are bright and happy, then somber and prideful. There is joy and a sense of deep appreciation in the paintings that match the verses perfectly. The book closes with soft paintings and three quiet selections, "Good-Night," "The Sand-Man," and "Rain-Songs." From the introduction that provides readers with some background on Dunbar's life to the afterword that includes quotes from the artists about the poet's influence, this is a package that belongs in every collection serving this audience.-Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.