Friday, April 17, 2009

Poetry Friday: Extravaganza!!

In place of Picture Book Saturday this week (which is not taking place do to the Read-a-thon I'm participating in), I thought I would do a Poetry Friday blowout. Since it is Poetry Month and all, I have collected some of the recent books I've read and enjoyed to share with you. Hopefully you'll find something enjoyable and useful out of all these choices!

A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout has been put together by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka. It is definitely a fun and quirky choice, one that will get those not-so-interested poetry to enjoy it a bit more.

Filled with different "sections" such as limericks, poems for two voices, tongue twisters, and bilingual poems, there is no such thing as getting bored with this book! You can use it for a variety of activities in the classroom, including teaching students about the different types of poetry available.

The illustrations are very cool and at times, abstract, lending even more interest to A Foot in the Mouth.

A Foot in the Mouth
Paul B. Janeczko
64 pages
March 2009

Next, A Curious Collection of Cats by Betsy Franco, with illustrations by Michael Wertz, is another quirky choice, giving us 34 different concrete poems. The art is just as important as the actual poetry in this one, intergrating the actual words right into the illustration.

My favorite is "q-tip and rosie," and if you see the page, you'll know why! A hint? A dog. Enough said. I also loved "that cat peed on my hat." Ahhh just the title is silly!

I really enjoyed staring at each set of illustrations, then reading the cleverly put together poems. This is a group of poetry that kids of all ages can appreciate and enjoy.

A Curious Collection of Cats
Betsy Franco
40 pages
Tricycle Press
April 2009

Finally, the one I probably enjoyed most for the week, is Deborah Ruddell's A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems, illustrated by Joan Rankin. I think I just really love animals and outdoorsy books and the poems are just so sweet and cute. An adorable book overall, really.

We have skunks, beavers, snails, badgers, wild turkeys, toads, beetles, and so many other animals in this delightful book of poems. My favorite probably being "Toad's Lunch," with a "Nobody's Pet: A Word to the Wise from a Red Fox." Funny, giggle-worthy, and so darn cute!

The illustrations are truly superb, making for a must have for libraries. I love it and think kids are going to really love it to. I haven't read any other books by this author and illustrator, but between them there are several. Their other book of poems, Today at the Bluebird Cafe: A Branchful of Poems, has gotten fantastic reviews. You can bet I'll be checking them out!

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems
Deborah Ruddell
40 pages
McElderry Books
March 2009

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

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