A Poem A Day

It’s National Poetry Month! There are so many wonderful ways to introduce poetry to children. One of the best ways is through books. Many authors are producing books in verse as well as collections of poems. Here are a few to introduce to your budding poetry lover!

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Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
With a fresh and deceptively simple style, acclaimed author Sharon Creech tells a story with enormous heart. Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack’s point of view, Love That Dog shows how one boy finds his own voice with the help of a teacher, a writer, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog. With classic poetry included in the back matter, this provides the perfect resource for teachers and students alike.
“I guess it does
look like a poem
when you see it
typed up
like that.”
Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, won’t stop giving her class poetry assignments — and Jack can’t avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns he does have something to say. Supports the Common Core State Standards

Vile Verses by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl is best remembered as the author of many well-loved children’s stories. But he was also the creator of some astonishingly imaginative, outrageous, and wonderfully disgusting verses. From oozing grobes to slimy slugs, this extraordinary collection is bursting with Dahl’s poems, verses, and songs. And with full-color original illustrations from a distinguished group of more than twenty artists, including Quentin Blake, William Joyce, and Lane Smith, this lavish volume is a must-have for any Dahl fan’s library.

Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff by Robert Paul Weston
Prince Puggly of the muddy, terminally unfashionable Kingdom of Spud is surprised when he receives an invitation to a lavish ball in the far more chic Kingdom of Spiff. Puggly is sure that the Spiffs will take one look at him and laugh him out of their kingdom. And that’s exactly what they do. . . . But then Puggly meets Francesca, the bookish Princess of Spiff, and together the two set out to teach Francesca’s Spiffian countrymen an absurd lesson in style. Award-winning author Robert Paul Weston once again delivers a humorous fantasy in rhyming verse that just begs to be read aloud. And this time, it comes with a message that’s sure to impress: There’s more to a person than how they are dressed.

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala — Amira’s one true dream.
But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey — on foot — to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind — and all kinds of possibilities.
New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans’s breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg
I had a bad August.
A very bad August.
As bad as pickle juice on a cookie.
As bad as a spider web on your leg.
As bad as the black parts on a banana.
I hope your August was better.
I really do.

When Eleanor’s beloved babysitter, Bibi, has to move away to take care of her ailing father, Eleanor must try to bear the summer without Bibi and prepare for the upcoming school year. Her new, less-than-perfect babysitter just isn’t up to snuff, and she doesn’t take care of things like Bibi used to. But as the school year looms, it’s time for new beginnings. Eleanor soon realizes that she will always have Bibi, no matter how far away she is.  Written in a lyrical style with thoughtful and charming illustrations throughout, this remarkable debut novel tells a poignant story of friendship and the bittersweet feelings of growing up.

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer
What’s brewing when two favorites–poetry and fairy tales–are turned (literally) on their heads? It’s a revolutionary recipe: an infectious new genre of poetry and a lovably modern take on classic stories.
First, read the poems forward (how old-fashioned!), then reverse the lines and read again to give familiar tales, from Sleeping Beauty to that Charming Prince, a delicious new spin. Witty, irreverent, and warm, this gorgeously illustrated and utterly unique offering holds a mirror up to language and fairy tales, and renews the fun and magic of both.

The best way to enjoy poetry is to write your own! Get the creative juices flowing with this inspiring craft that turns your own poetry into a book.  The instructions from Sturdy for Common Things are for a poetry book about colors, but you can make it about anything you like – your favorite food, a pet you’ve always wanted, how you’re feeling right now. The ideas are endless!

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