What is Poetry? by Trudi Strain Truit (Lerner Publishing, September 2014) is an attractive nonfiction book for early readers. It teaches common types of figurative language and common formats of poetry (free verse, rhyming, and so forth). Even better, it provides sample poems to demonstrate the concepts. It has large text for the young reader, a glossary, and attractive images to keep children turning pages.
I can see my son enjoying this book, especially if I told him we were studying poetry in our homeschool. Although he sometimes decides on a nonfiction subject to seek out books for, I am not sure I can picture him picking this one up on his own unless he had something to spark his interest in poetry.
Note: I received a digital copy for review consideration.
How do various animals get to sleep at night?
In Animal Lullabies, Lila Prap gives us the lullabies the mothers sing to them. Each is perfectly suited for the particular animals. The animals featured include owls, chicks, kittens (who receive a song of yarn), baby mice (who dream of cheese to nibble), and more. (more…)
Wait, is that snow I see outside?
Nope, it’s the sprinkler and kiddie pool. But nevertheless, it’s time for a Christmas in July book review!
Santa Clauses by Bob Raczka (Carolrhoda Books, September 2014) is a great book for the upcoming holiday season. With 25 different haiku poems, Santa prepares himself and his workshop for the upcoming Christmas holiday. (more…)
When I was young, I wanted to write. I wish I’d found a book like Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out by Ralph Fletcher (HarperCollins, 2002). In this book, Fletcher writes for kids, directly focusing on what poetry is and what young writers can do to learn to write it. I loved his basic approach to teaching writing as finding the “spark” inside of you and then nurturing it. I’ll talk briefly about these two sections in his book. (more…)
Poetrees by Douglas Florian (Beach Lane Books, 2010) is a creative collection of poems about trees, seeds, and the growing cycle of plant life presented in a colorful and innovative way.
The first thing to catch the reader’s attention is the layout of the book. While most picture books have a left side binding, this one has a top binding. It is fun to peruse a book that has such a different approach, and since trees are often tall and majestic, this is simply perfect for a picture book about majestic trees!
Beyond the page layout, however, is the creativity with which the author formats each poem. His “shape poems” are wonderfully accurate. The poem about the baobab, for example, is fat, with a rectangular structure just like the thick tree. “Oak” has two close lines and then two expanded lines and the four-line poem almost resembles an acorn’s thick top and lighter bottom portion. (more…)