Friday, March 27, 2009

Poetry Friday: Lists and Birds

I was feeling a bit adventurous this morning (or more likely, overwhelmed by my immense pile of books to read) and have two great choices to share for Poetry Friday. My choices are very different from one another, one title being more on the silly side and the other more on the sweet/educational side, both worthy of your time!

First, my "sweet/educational" choice. The Cuckoo's Haiku and Other Birding Poems is written by Michael J. Rosen and beautifully illustrated by Stan Fellows. Each 2 page spread contains a haiku about a specific bird (owl, bluebird, northern cardinal, etc.), along with some simple facts about that bird, written almost to appear as field notes.

My favorite bird haiku and illustration was that of the European Starling. The haiku is:

"masking the daylight
one wheeling black star explodes
thousands of starlings"

and includes the following information: "bill yellow in breeding season; white spotted feathers take on green and purple sheen."

Very cool! The back contains a section for "Birdwatchers and Haiku Lovers" including more useful information on each bird.

The illustrations are absolutely fantastic and the info given on the birds is simple enough even for smaller children, yet complex enough to be used in a school project or report. A great choice for libraries!

The Cuckoo's Haiku and Other Birding Poems
Michael J. Rosen
64 pages
March 2009

My "sillier" choice of the week is in the book Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems, edited by Georgia Heard. This one has super cute poems written by a variety of popular authors including Eileen Spinelli, Jane Yolen, Bobbi Katz, and Kathi Appelt. Now, just because I call this my "sillier" choice doesn't mean that all the poems are silly...but most are. :)

Each poem is a list of sorts, presented in a very original and contemporary manner, making it one of those books you "just have to pick up!" All are loosely school related and the cover definitely gives a great sneak peek at what's inside.

Some of my favorites are "In My Desk" by Jane Yolen, "Are We There Yet?" by Heidi Roemer, and "Test Day" by Kathi Appelt, which I just lovvvved.

You have to go pick this one up for your classroom or library shelves. It's one of those that will get non-poetry readers to really become intrigued by poems...and by the authors that have written them. So many great books have come from these poets!

Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems
Georgia Heard
48 pages
Roaring Brook Press
March 2009

To learn more about either book or to purchase, click on the book covers above to link to Amazon.

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