In and Out the Window by Jane Yolen

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

In and Out the Window (illustrated by Catherin Peterslund; Philomel 2024) is a creative collection of children’s poetry by Jane Yolen. Poems are divided into thematic sections with further division into the categories of “In” and “Out” of a window. The volume shares poems about many aspects of children’s lives. Different sections featured include “At home,” “Animals,” “School,” and even “Career
Poems.” In between these sections there are also what I’m calling “poetry poems”: “Why to Write a Poem,” “How to Write a Poem,” and other poems address when, where, and who.

As a teacher, I personally really liked these poetry poems best. They nicely tie into the subject matter that followed and I feel could be influential to starting a discussion about writing our own poems. For example, here’s a writing tip from “When to Write a Poem.”

It can rhyme, all the time,
that is never a crime,
and it’s always a plus for ‘refrain.'”

This is just one example — each of the “poetry poems” as I call them have a similar little tidbit that can be applied to a child writing their own poems.

The subjects in the rest of the poems are great inspiration. There are so many fantastic ones that I hesitate to name my favorite after one reading of the book. For example, I’ll share “In My Locker” as a good inspiration poem for a child. As can be expected, the narrator of the poem lists the items in his or her locker, and each item seems to have a story behind it. As a child reads this, they can think of their own place (locker, backpack, purse) and start listing out what they have. Just as Yolen’s creative poem does, any child’s creative listing can build into a poem. (I even tried my hand a few poems after reading this book, although no, I’m not sharing them here!)

The poems in In and Out the Window are just right for the child audience whether you’re just reading them or planning on writing you’re own poems. The book models to the young reader how to look at the examples that are inside and it also encourages the reader to look outside the window for more inspiration. I highly recommend Jane Yolen’s newest volume of poetry.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance review copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviewed on April 3, 2024

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}