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Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry
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Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  170 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
The classic anthology of poetry for children--now revised with new poems to enchant a new generation.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published 1982)
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Jul 25, 2009 Ruth rated it it was amazing
At last, a poetry book that doesn't insult the intelligence of children. No silly doggerel here. Just good poems by good poets that will appeal to children of all ages.
Marissa Masterson
Feb 28, 2012 Marissa Masterson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eced-221
Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry written by X.J. Kennedy and Dorothy M. Kennedy is a book filled with many different poems with varying styles, rhyme schemes, repetitions, and songs. The poems that filled the books pages were very diverse. Some poems were rhyming poems that had very flowing words that had syllables that matched the meaning of the poems. Each poem brought a clear image into my head. I was able to vividly picture what I was reading because each poem was detailed w ...more
Ashley Barna
Apr 16, 2012 Ashley Barna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-book
Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry is filled with so many wonderful things. To start, this introduction book on poems gives amateur poem readers a great place to begin. In the context readers will find what is in a poem and how poems effect readers. Each category has at least 10 different poems to chose from. This book also tells what poems are used for, and why they are written. This book is very informative in that it also talks about the different kind of poems that are created ...more
Jack Fibich
Aug 13, 2015 Jack Fibich rated it really liked it
Knock At a Star is a beautifully written colllection of poetry. These poems easily apply to all ages, speaking to the mind and soul of the reader, as well as touching their hearts. I remember this group of poems helping me feel better on a bad day, and thats the point of poetry, to cause one to feel certain emotions, correct?
Feb 24, 2016 Breanna rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This conglomerate of poems by X. J. and Dorthy Kennedy is a perfect way to introduce poetry, to not only children but adults as well. All of the poems are from different authors which allows each have their own individual voice. It begins with explaining what poems do, starting with humor, for example, "Suppose the ceiling went outside...I think it would be Most Revealing To find out how the Ceiling's Feeling". From the beginning, the Kennedy's break the stereotype that poetry doesn't have to be ...more
Haley Caudell
Feb 27, 2014 Haley Caudell rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry by X.J. Kennedy and Dorothy M. Kennedy is a book that introduces children to the different components of poetry. There are three sections in this book: “What do poems do,” “What’s inside a poem,” “Special kinds of poetry,” and “Do it yourself.” Each section of this book introduces the different components of poems and gives a description of what they are. Following the description, the authors give examples of different poems that contain that as ...more
Sep 27, 2012 Charolette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lis-510-401, poetry
I like how the poems are simple and it easily deciphered by a second or third grader. There are illustrations that go along with some of the poems that tell the story behind the poems. The poems are great for helping a young student with writing poems. I think every child could relate to some of the poems in this book. I think this is a great introduction to poetry.
Sierra Sitzes
Read for Children's Lit. There are certain aspects of this anthology that make it better than some other collections of poetry for children I've read: its choices in poems, its organization, the length, but there were also several aspects that were unimpressive and annoying to read as an adult. The blurbs at the beginning of each section that explain whatever aspect of language/form/etc. were sometimes tedious, and for children, used language that seemed to be a little complicated for the book's ...more
Tracey Hanna
Jan 24, 2016 Tracey Hanna rated it liked it
Knock at a Star is an anthology. It does not have an introduction, but the scope covers what poems do, the parts of a poem, special types of poems, and some advice on how to write poems. I really enjoyed reading this anthology, as it described a particular bit of information (such as what a haiku was, its origins and make-up) and then illustrated the points it made with beautiful and iconic poetry that was simple enough for a child to understand but with enough artistry to properly illustrate th ...more
Jun 15, 2013 Taneka rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, children-s
Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry is an anthology of poems that was originally published by Little, Brown and Company in 1999. The scope of this book is the introduce kids to poetry by providing them with different poems of different types, such as haiku. The book does not provide an introductory, but instead delves right into the poetry. The first page in the book is of the poem Crunchy by Max Fatchen and Commas by Douglas Florian. The intent is for kids to read the book without ...more
Nancy O'Toole
Knock a Star is unique as it's not just a collection of poetry, but it's also a guide for children about how to identify different types of poetry, and how to read poetry. The book is divided into four sections that do a good job of easing children into poetry. Each section begins with an introduction before heading into the poetry itself. Every now and then, the editor will interrupt to point out something important about a poem, or poetry in general. The chapter “What do Poems do,” is about th ...more
Chelsea Gail Smith
Feb 21, 2013 Chelsea Gail Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I have never been the biggest fan of poetry, but Knock at a Star by X.J. Kennedy and Dorothy M. Kennedy, illustrated by Karen Ann Weinhaus is a good book to introduce poetry to children. The book is broken down into sections: What do poems do,What's inside a poem, Special kinds of poetry, and do it yourself poems. Each of these sections have sub sections with many types of poems in it. I really enjoyed how this book had a wide variety of poems to choose from, and figure out which poetry you enjo ...more
Andrew Caudill
Oct 13, 2013 Andrew Caudill rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Knock at a Star by X.J. Kennedy is a wonderful resource for teachers. The book is organized by different categories you would use to teach poetry. This is a useful thing done to make this book simple and perfect for a classroom. The book also includes many lesson ideas and ways to incorporate the poems into lessons. I also like that it includes way to get students to write their own poems as this can seem like a daunting task to teachers. The cover appears to be a water color painting and is ver ...more
Apr 15, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This is my go-to book for attempting to teach students about poetry. It's broken into sections that feel flexible, not didactic. The first part is called "What do poems DO?" and there are examples of lots of poems that make us smile, or tell a story, or send a message. Some poems are accompanied by some explanation, some stand alone. There are black and white illustrations sprinkled throughout, but the poems themselves are the stars.

The second section deals with the "terms" side of things, and a
May 23, 2016 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent text for both teachers and students. The selected poems are sure to appeal to young readers. The accompanying discussions about the nature of poetry, how it is word music created with careful attention to sound and meaning, enhance the experience. At the back, there are some ideas for writing poetry. Kennedy does a good job of explaining why rhyme should not be the boss in a poem, how a poet should not choose rhyme over intended meaning.
Erin Ingold
Apr 17, 2014 Erin Ingold rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book of poems! The author includes many different kinds of poetry such as free verse, dialogue, short and long, and rhymes. The author puts in poems with meaningful lessons that students are able to connect their own lives too. There are not many pictures in this book but students are able to use their imagination to picture it in their minds. This would be a great poem anthology to include in a classroom!
Aby Vela
Sep 27, 2012 Aby Vela rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
This book was very long and tedious to get through. I didn't read every poem in the anthology, but the pages in the edition I looked at were not very interesting. I think children would have a hard time staying interested in this book as it looks like too many words on a page. The pictures that were in the book were all in black and white. This would be good for a read aloud of different poems, but I don't think a child would like to sit down and read this alone. If there had been more color in ...more
Morgan Elliott
Sep 25, 2012 Morgan Elliott rated it really liked it
Knock at a star is a wonderful anthology of poetry that shows wide variety poems. There isn't one poem with the same topic. What I love most about the book is how informational it is. It allows students to read about poetry, write their own poems, and read other poems all within one book. I really appreciated that it was sectioned off. I think this would make poetry easier to teach and keep the students interested, since they do know where they will end. I recommend this book for ages 3rd grade ...more
Nov 20, 2008 Liane rated it liked it
Genre: Poetry, Informational

Reading Level: Late Transitional/Fluent. Grade 3+

Topics & Themes: Elements of poetry

Curricular Use: Introduces children to poetry. Afterword to adult on how to use the book with children.

Literary Elements: Split into three sections: What do poems do? What's inside a poem? Special types of poems. Brief introduction to start each section. Some poems followed by context for the poem to help reader understand the poem.

Additional Notes: Good variety on choice of poems
The Reading Countess
A thorough mix of poetic styles and elements showcasing some of our greatest poets. Compiled for children, Knock at a Star would make an excellent teacher's companion.
Mar 05, 2012 Sherita rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-poetry
This book was a introduction to poetry and had a variety of different types of poetry. There was some humorous poems, haiku, long and short. One particular poem in this book that stuck out to me was Tell stories, this poem was a bit longer and it was not your typical poetry, children probably usually think of rhythms when it comes to poetry, but this poem did not include that, it seem like a poem that was just informing us on some history; I do not think that many young children would like that ...more
Jul 17, 2011 Monica rated it liked it
This is a children's introduction to poetry. I feel like newcomer to poetry, and this was a nice introduction for me as well! This book is separated into four sections. The first is titled, "What do poems do?" This is a great introduction, showcasing poems that illustrate specific messages such as happiness, ponderings, and to help you share your feelings. To explain what makes up a poem or what types of poems there are, the authors continue giving poems to illustrate these specifics.
Nov 25, 2015 Veronica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This book contains a unique and often whimsical collection of children's poetry. I discovered it when looking for poetry books for kids in my "Teaching Children's Literacy" class. It contains a lot of amazing poems, and that is why I chose it for my library. Poetry often might seem "boring" to kids. But, after reading the poetry in this anthology, kids can see just how imaginative and fun poetry can be!
Dorchester County Public Library
This is a great collection of different types of poetry for children/tweens. A brief description is given about the various types of poetry/prose focused on in the book and several example poems are included, such as limericks or shape poems. A wide range of poets are included in the book. This is a very useful companion resource for parents or teachers who are interested in introducing, sharing, and encouraging poetry with children.
Alexis Collins
Nov 03, 2011 Alexis Collins rated it really liked it
I was actually taken aback by the amount of poems that were available in just one short book. There were poems for younger children, poems for tween and for young adults. Almost every poem in this book was captivating. Some took me a little longer to comprehend and a few I had to go and ask my mother to help me translate the meaning of. I learned that not all poems have to make sense to the reader, and that is the art form of poetry.
Erika Conley
Apr 30, 2011 Erika Conley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, picture
This is a wonderful poetry resource for anyone wishing to share poetry with children. It is very conducive to teaching various aspects and uses of poetry. Its "Afterword for Adults" section explains why the book was written, and how to encourage children to like poetry, suggestions for helping them write their own poetry, and ideas of how to use it in a classroom. This would be a great assest to have in the classroom!
Eileen 8e
Mar 31, 2008 Eileen 8e rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eileen by: Me Myself and I
Its is a book of poems. I think it is good because you can relate to them. There very interseting because the way it is types. There are all peoms but some are short some are long but there all very good.My favorite is poor, Spectacular, MyBrother, leave me alone etc. my most favorites are lave me alone and poor, i love poor because its true what the poem says about poor peoplae and the way they feel.
Mar 03, 2016 SB rated it it was amazing
Really great resource!
Shianne Cokely
Feb 25, 2015 Shianne Cokely rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Good poetry book for upper grade school. The poems in the book are very cute. I think that a lot of kids could definitely relate to the poems, they're adorable.
Jun 11, 2011 JaNeal rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite poetry anthologies for middle-grade readers (there are works that older and younger children would enjoy as well). This book holds some old favorites and others I have never seen before. X.J. Kennedy's commentary is equally inspiring. I'd recommend this book to any poetry lover.
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