Monday, November 19, 2012

A Poetry Kind of Week

Hosted by Jen & Kelle at Teach Mentor Texts

I've been busy, busy, busy reading and reviewing books.  This week I read through some poetry collections.

Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis
National Geographic, 2012
185 pages
Recommended for grades 2+

This is a hefty collection.  Don't attempt to read through this book in one sitting, there is far too much here for that ambition!  All poems are printed overlaying lovely, stunning and sometimes humorous photographs.  Poetry reading kids will see some familiar names in this collection, including: Jack Prelutsky, Jane Yolen, J. Patrick Lewis, and Valerie Worth.  And the older crowd will certainly recognize poets like: Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Rudyard Kipling.  In short, this book has a wide span of styles, something for everyone.

So you've probably got a Jack Prelutsky collection sitting on your poetry shelf.  And you know he has a taste for humor, and often the simple ink drawings that accompany his poems reflect that humor as well.   But when you open this book and read Prelutsky's "The Egg" with a close up photograph of a bird hatching, humor is not what you experience.  What fun to show students the same poem with different artwork, will they agree that the art impacts their feelings of the poem?  Does it change in any way when reintroduced in a different format?  

I highly recommend this collection.  I use poetry in science class, and this collection is perfect for animal classification.  

If You Were a Chocolate Mustache by J. Patrick Lewis
Wordsong, 2012
160 pages
Recommended for grades 3-5

Do you love silly, over the top, what sense is there to be made of this mishmash of lines, type of poetry?  Good, go read this.  I wasn't very taken by this collection.  Don't start bristling if you love this book.  We can politely have different opinions.  Just as our students have diverse likes and dislikes, so will book readers and reviewers.  Obviously.  Kids love silly poems, but I found some of this silliness more like nonsense.  Make it rhyme, give it a rhythm, put it in this book.  Don't look for too much depth in these pages.  

A Meal of the Stars: Poems up and down by Dana Jensen
Houghton Mifflin, 2012
32 pages
Recommended for grades 2-4

Each poem in this book is written with a single word on each line.  With no title at top or bottom, the reader knows not where to start, because as you discover, some start at the top, and some start at the bottom!  It was fun to begin reading only to discover that I should have started on the other end of the poem.  The poems are simple, ideal for young readers.  The artwork is appealing as well.


Next on deck is:


Other 2012 poetry collections I should be checking out?  Tell me, please!

Best,
Nicole



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