What is Poetry? by Trudi Strain Truit

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.

Animal Lullabies by Lila Prap

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.Continue Reading

Santa Clauses by Bob Raczka

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.Continue Reading

Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher


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.Continue Reading