I and I Bob Marley

By Kirkus Reviews

In Love to Langston, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, Medina paid homage to the Harlem poet Langston Hughes. His latest biography-in-verse celebrates another powerful master of words: Bob Marley. Early poems show Marley growing up on the Jamaican ‘”farm of Nine Miles dust,” struggling to understand his mixed heritage and absent father. Then, in “My Papa Sends for Me,” a scared little boy of six boards a bus in the hopes of a better future, all the while crying “a hurricane of pain.” Stories unfold in 17 individual poems as Marley learns the power of music, falls in love and ultimately shares his redemption songs with the world. . . . Verses scan smoothly in a relaxed, reggae style. Watson’s light-soaked strokes of reds, greens and yellows saturate the pages with warmth and vitality. The irrefutable kind of reggae bursts forth with twinkling eyes and “dreads / a twirl.” From love to politics to peace, Marley’s music stirs the soul—as does this passionate collaboration. Detailed endnotes provide background, poem by poem.