Archive for the ‘Poetry Month’ category

A PORTRAIT IN POEMS: The Storied Life of GERTRUDE STEIN & ALICE B. TOKLAS

April 29, 2021

A Portrait in Poems: The Storied Life of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas written by Evie Robillard and illustrated by Rachel Katstaller. Kids Can Press, 2020.

In order to give this book a review it deserves, I’m posting a review from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cooperative Children’s Book Center CCBC Choices 2021.

“A pitch-perfect picture book about Gertrude Stein’s life in Paris focuses on her art collection, her writing, her famous Salon, and her relationship with Alice B. Toklas. Not a word is wasted in this engaging, masterful account. Wisconsin author Robillard’s well-rounded portrait of Stein (and Toklas, too) includes just the right excerpts from Stein’s writing to give readers a sense of her singular style, her wit, her Steiny-ness. The gouache and colored pencil illustrations flawlessly echo the tone of the poems that comprise the text—both playful and profound, rather like Stein and Toklas themselves. They also extend the sense of place that was so important to Stein and her kindred spirits: Paris, specifically 27 rue de Fleurus “…a place that was once filled with paintings— / bright, bold, wild, impossible paintings. / And in that place lived a woman named Gertrude Stein / and her brother Leo. / And later on, her partner, Alice.” (Ages 5-9)” (CCBC Choices 2021, p. 21, PDF File)

Choices is a list of books published in the previous year and recommended for their excellence by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center librarians.

I love this book, and no one can review it better than the librarians at the CCBC!

April is Poetry Month!

April 8, 2021

Evening sky glistens

Awash with dazzling colors

Sun whispers goodnight

~CSO

How about a little haiku to begin poetry month? An idea. Three lines. Seventeen syllables – 5-7-5. Voilà!

There is joy to be found in words that paint pictures. Choose any book below and immerse yourself and your family in the world of poetry. Read. Relax. Enjoy.

A World Full of Poems: Inspiring Poetry for Children selected by Sylvia Vardell, DK Children, 2020.

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming and other Nonsense written by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith, Little, Brown Books for Young Children updated version 2020.

My First Book of Haiku Poems: A Picture, a Poem, and a Dream written by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen and illustrated by Tracy Gallup, Tuttle Publishing, 2019.

One Last Word written by Nikki Grimes, Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2017.

The Poetry of US edited by J. Patrick Lewis, National Geographic Kids, 2018.

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems written by Bob Raczka, Roaring Book Press, 2016.

The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom written and illustrated by Lita Judge, Roaring Book Press, March 2021.

The Dance of the Bees written by Fran Nuño, illustrated by Zuzanna Celej, translated by Jon Brokenbrow, Cuento de Luz SL, February 2021.

One Last Shout-out

April 30, 2015

Here’s one last shout-out for Poetry Month. I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild’s Pocket Book is a must read! This book of rhymes, riddles, and tongue twisters was edited by Iona and Peter Opie and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

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In the introduction to the book, Iona Opie notes the rhymes “. . . were clearly not rhymes a grandmother might sing to a grandchild on her knee. They have more oomph and zoom; they pack a punch. . . .” And let me tell you, some of the rhymes do exactly that! The contents of this book have been divided into a variety of categories. There are rhymes that are familiar to us from childhood, and there are those that are not so. Today, some of these old rhymes might be considered irreverent or not politically correct. Nevertheless, these are rhymes that will tickle the fancy of young children. They will make them laugh or squeal at their absurd nature.

From the category of Graces comes this rhyme.

Bless the meat,

Damn the skin.

Open your mouth

And cram it in.

Notice it’s not your usual before-meal grace.

There are many more attention-grabbing rhymes throughout the book that will shock and entertain readers. The Opies have also included end notes that give additional information and origins of the various rhymes. Combined with the talent and clever renderings of the iconic Maurice Sendak, this book is a work of genius. It’s a classic – not only for children, but also for adults who have not lost their inner child. Make sure to put this on your list of favorite books.

Celebrating Poetry

April 9, 2015

A Pocketful of Poems written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe is a delightful book to share during Poetry Month.

Grimes introduces her readers to Tiana, a young girl, who offers to share her pocketful of words. In each spread, Grimes cleverly pairs free verse and haiku as Tiana embarks on a poetic journey through the seasons of the year in an urban setting. Javaka Steptoe’s ingenious illustrations feature collages, using a variety of objects and materials. His designs lend themselves to playful interaction with readers who can have fun identifying items in the collages. This award-winning team has created a lively book that will give you a pocketful of smiles. Make sure to check this one out!

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

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Cinquain by Vincent

Elephant

Huge, Gray

Wandering, Bathing, Swimming

Sucking up the water

Asian

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Spine Poem by Kaitlyn

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Cinquain by Haven

Apple

Awesome, Electronic

Tapping, Typing, Playing

The computer is super

Company

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Spine Poem by Jeada

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Cinquain by Matthew

Mankind

Intelligent, Busy

Running, Standing, Talking

Always discovering new things

Leaders

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Spine Poem by Daniel

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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!


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