Archive for poetry Friday

book review/poetry Friday

Diamond Life by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

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It’s baseball season, and this book of spirited poems captures the excitement of the sport and even gives young readers some advice for and insight into the game.  Listen, Kid tells readers to “Keep your eye on the ball./Swing for the fences./No matter how many time you strike out, keep swingin’.”  A poem called What’s My Name ends “it’s been a real pleasure/meeting you from the mound,/but now you have to go/’cause strike three means sit down”.   The text itself gets into the game, often reflecting some aspect of baseball, with To The Moon echoing the shape of a ball, and There It Goes tracing the arc of a ball from pitchers hand to home run fence.  The illustrations are colorful photographs of young baseball players, and perfectly reflect the energy of the text.  Although there are some lengthy poems, they are easily skipped in favor of shorter poems containing lines like “The catcher smells so bad that he made me strike out” (Excuses, Excuses).  Baseball lovers should definitely check this one out!

–Miss Tracey

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book review/poetry Friday

Lily Brown’s Paintings by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis

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Not your more typical poetry with rhyming verse, this picture book is still very much filled with poetry, with lyrical free form verses describing how the everyday places that Lily’s paintings take her to, from the ocean to the big city to the park, become magical through art (“In Lily Brown’s paintings/the path to the park becomes/a wild-animal living room”).   Lily’s joy as she paints becomes the reader’s joy, as “the sunlight turns to stars/and Lily begins flying”.  Yet all of this whimsy is surrounded by a sturdy reality, especially by Lily’s love of her family, “her mama’s smile,/her daddy’s eyes,/and the way her baby brother/holds her hand before he goes to sleep”.   The watercolor illustrations are dynamic and vibrant, and alternate between Lily’s lush real world and bright, child-like artwork meant to be Lily’s.  This is a satisfying read for parent and child together, and hopefully will serve as poetic inspiration to you both to pick up a paintbrush or even visit a museum.  Check this one out!

–Miss Tracey

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poetry Friday

Go! Poetry in Motion by Dee Lillegard

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Pickup trucks, trains, school buses, airplanes, motorcyles and more whizz through this collection of very short poems, making this book perfect for the youngest reader, especially those fascinated by transportation.   The simple, mostly four line poems evoke the familiar, from garbage trucks (“gobbling trash, anything tossable”) to merry-go-rounds (spins lions, zebras, many a horse), bringing poetry into the everyday experience of a young reader.  The illustrations are similar to those of Richard Scarry, with many small and enthusiastic animals in action on each page.  The muted colors don’t distract from the busy feel of animals and transportation in motion. 

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poetry Friday

Animals, Animals by Eric Carle

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This diverse collection of animal poems is brought to life by Eric Carle’s vivid torn paper collage illustrations.   Seals, butterflies, purcupines, pelicans, yaks, birds, horses–you name it and the animal has probably found a place in this book.  Distinguished poets like Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, Jack Prelutsky, and more are featured, along with Japanese haiku, Pawnee Indian proverbs, and biblical verses.  This is a great book for adults and kids to share, and all readers will enjoy the plethora of animal poetry and fanciful illustrations in this volume.

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book review/poetry Friday

Dear Bunny: A Bunny Love Story by Michaela Morgan

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Valentino (Tino) and Valenteeny (Teeny) are two bunnies that, despite their names, need a little help reaching their “hoppily ever after”.  Although they each think that the other is “lovely”, they are too shy to talk to each other.   So, they decide to write letters, which they leave in a hollow log for the other to find.  However, these letters are ill-fated–a family of mice shred the letters to use in their nest.  When the bunnies begin to cry, the mice realize what they have done and decide to play cupid.  They take the best parts of the letters and put them together into a masterpiece of sweet romance, which the bunnies read and realize that they were indeed meant for each other.  Awww…  The story makes for a wonderful read-aloud, with fun dialogue and vocabulary, and the illustrations are adorable.  Be sure to check this one out!

–Miss Tracey

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poetry Friday

It’s Friday! 

Handsprings by Douglas Florian

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These poems are all about spring, so what a perfect choice for these long winter months. And these poems are short and simple, with lots of rhymes, which makes them a perfect poetry readaloud for the younger set.  The illustrations are small, and in subdued colors, but provide a nice, light touch of humor.  All the tradional aspects of spring are covered here, from baseball, rainy days, spring cleaning, to playing in the mud, bugs, flowers, and more, and in ways that even younger readers will be able to relate to.   So, if you and your child “love leaves, and flowers, and daydreaming for hours,” this is a great book for your poetry Friday.

–Miss Tracey

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poetry Friday

What I Like!  Poems for the Very Young

What I Like!: Poems for the Very Young (Poetry S.)

With short poems in simple language and on familiar topics (hamburgers and hot dogs, pets, counting, nature), this book begs to be read out loud.  The reader and listener will quickly get into the rhythm of the poems, and will be drawn in even further by the brightly colored cartoon-style illustrations.  This book succeeds in making poetry fun for even the youngest of readers.

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