Archive for April 2014

Jiving with Jazz and Poetry

April 24, 2014

International Jazz Day is April thirtieth. It’s also the last day of National Poetry Month. Why not celebrate a jazz-jiving poetry day! Start those fingers and toes tapping with Jazz written by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Christopher Myers and Jazz A●B●Z written by Wynton Marsalis and illustrated by Paul Rogers. Both of these books pay tribute to jazz and jazz greats.


Feel the rhythm and the beat as you read Walter Dean Myers′ poems that explore the different types of jazz. Colorful illustrations by Christopher Myers pull you into the story poems with each page turn. Included in this book is an introduction by Walter Dean Myers, a glossary of jazz terms, and a jazz time line. All of these provide a better understanding of the history of jazz and its components.


If you want to know about jazz greats, Jazz A●B●Z is the book for you. Wynton Marsalis, a gifted musician, offers a peek into the lives of twenty-six talented performers from the jazz scene. Marsalis uses a variety of poetic forms to skillfully impart facts about the musicians. Paul Rogers’ illustrations, which bring to mind vintage album covers, cleverly include the artist and items related to that artist. Also provided in the back of the book are biographical sketches of each of the twenty-six musicians and an explanation of the poetic forms used in the book. Words and illustrations meld together to make a fascinating book filled with information.

If you’re a music and poetry connoisseur, celebrate International Jazz Day and National Poetry Month with these two books.



Poetry Anyone?

April 17, 2014

In honor of National Poetry Month, here’s a smattering of poems written by some of my fourth and fifth grade library students. Enjoy!

Spine Poem by Mason



Cinquain by Vincent


Huge, Gray

Wandering, Bathing, Swimming

Sucking up the water



Spine Poem by Kaitlyn



Cinquain by Haven


Awesome, Electronic

Tapping, Typing, Playing

The computer is super



Spine Poem by Jeada



Cinquain by Matthew


Intelligent, Busy

Running, Standing, Talking

Always discovering new things



Spine Poem by Daniel


A Classic Book of Poems

April 10, 2014

If you want to put some pop in your poetry reading, try Sing a Song of Popcorn. It’s a collection of poems selected by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, Eva Moore, Mary Michaels White, and Jan Carr. The book has a copyright date of 1988, but don’t let that fool you. This book has staying power. There are 128 poems written by well-known authors such as Langston Hughes, Eve Merriam, A.A. Milne, e.e. cummings, Ogden Nash, Nikki Giovanni and more. To add to your enjoyment, the illustrations are done by Caldecott Medal artists. Each artist illustrates one of the themed sections of poems. Trina Schart Hyman does fun rhyming poems, Marcia Brown does weather poems and short poems, Margo Zemach does spooky poems, Maurice Sendak does story poems, Arnold Lobel does animal poems, Marc Simont does people poems, Richard Egielski does nonsense poems, and Leo and Diane Dillon do poems with emotions.

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This collection is rare chance to enjoy poems and illustrations by a diversified group of talented individuals. It has something to satisfy everyone’s taste and mood and will tickle and tantalize young and old readers. It’s a perfect choice for home and school.

Celebrate Poetry Month with Sing a Song of Popcorn!

It’s Poetry Month!

April 3, 2014

Haiku, a traditional form of Japanese poetry, has always been a favorite of mine. With only seventeen syllables in the entire poem, its simplicity is deceiving. Usually written about nature, crafting a haiku that speaks to its readers takes thought and creativity.

The book, The Year Comes Round: Haiku through the Seasons, written by Sid Farrar and illustrated by Ilse Plume is an excellent way to introduce young readers and writers to a specific form of poetry. The author writes about the changing canvas of the earth as winter, spring, summer, and fall come and go. Accompanying the seasonal poems are beautiful illustrations by Ilse Plume. The book lends itself to teaching syllables and experiencing the glories of nature as it wakes up from a long winter’s nap and evolves throughout the year. I recommend this book as a way to celebrate nature and Poetry Month.


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