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A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms
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A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  414 ratings  ·  89 reviews
From the simplest couplet to the mind-boggling pantoum, the award-winning team behind A POKE IN THE I shows us the many fascinating ways poetic forms take shape.

Open this book for something
Twenty-nine different poetic forms await you
Inside these pages. How many
Can you master?

From sonnets to double dactyls,
Odes to limericks—
Raschka and Janeczko (and a fr
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published March 3rd 2005 by Candlewick Press
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This poetry book written by Paul Janeczko is an introductory to poetic forms. It goes through all different types of poems and gives examples of each kind. At the bottom of each page is an explanation of the poetic form. I think this book is not the best book to exhibit the different poetic forms. The poems used as examples are too complex for children to understand. The explanation of the form is too small on the bottom of the pages, they could easily be missed. I think the importance should be ...more
I like to think of poets as brilliant and clever: how do they come up with such witty interesting ways to explain the world around us? It's the same world we see, but they make everyday life sound so much more remarkable and exciting. I can't say I enjoyed poetry much growing up, and outright feared it in high school.

But then there weren't books around like A Kick in the Head. This illustrated guide makes teaching and writing poetry fun and easy, and it will help you gain a sense of appreciation
Shelli Gheen
In A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms (2005), Paul Janeczko has selected poems to represent 29 different poetic forms. In his introduction, he explains the reason for the rules behind the poetic forms while also acknowledging that sometimes those rules can be set aside for the "spirit" of the poem. Chris Raschka's illustrations, while obviously making the pages more colorful, also provide a clue to the format of the poem. An interesting explanation of the different formats wit ...more
A Kick In The Head selected by Paul B. Janezcko is an interesting book containing examples of 29 poetic forms. The poems contained are of a good quality although they don’t always strictly stick to their forms. This is a book that could be used with older KS2 and even Secondary children however it is not the easiest book to just dip into and understand a particular poetic form and although the temptation maybe to do this it is beneficial to read from beginning to end. The book could be used as q ...more
Mar 30, 2010 Acton rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ellie
I am a student at Acton Academy and I have learned lots from this book. I think it explains the forms of poetry very well. The illustrations are great also. Thank you Paul Janeczko and Chris Raschka. The title is completely true.
This is a book that can be used as needed during a poetry unit. As students are learning new forms, this book displays several examples of many different poetic forms for inspiration. The topics vary and let young readers and writers know that poetry can be about anything! This is a fun way to LEARN about poetry.

Interest Level: 3-6
Reading Level: 4
Accelerated Reader Level: 6

Awards: ALA Notable Books For Children
School Library Journal Best Books For High School Students

Genre: Poetry
Rochetta G
I think A Kick in the Head is a good introductory book to poetry. It captures your eye with a patchwork art style. It would seem as if the illustrator glued together scrap sheet to create figures. They used warm and bright shades of blue, green, yellow and black. It would al so seem like pattern scraps where used to create a dimensional element. Some of the pictures even looked fuzzy. The shapes of the picture were abstract; however you are able to determine the artist intent. Although I recomme ...more
Kate Winkler
A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms has twenty-nine different forms of poems creatively written and illustrated. On each page there is a poem and an illustration, as well as the type of poetry form in the upper corner of the pages. Below the pictures, the author gives a description of the poetry form. Some of the poems were more difficult to comprehend then others. While some were vague and uninteresting, depending on the form, others were creative and fun to read. The poems v ...more
Kelsey Carroll
A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, was an adorable book of poems. There were all different sorts of poetry styles the author included in it like limerick, haiku, sonnet, and even couplet. In the beginning of the book, the author Chris Raschka includes 29 of the rules for each different type of poetry. Each poem had a different feel and emotion to them. I think that kids would really respond well to some of the emotions that were portrayed.
I found the illustrations to be ama
Monica DeBlieck
I thought this book of poetry was an alright collection. I’m not sure that I would like it if I were a young child, but then again, I wasn’t big into poetry when I was young either. Some of these poems are hard to follow, but sometimes I think that is the point. It is not a bad thing not to understand a poem right away because it gets the reader thinking. There were a few poems that I really liked out of this book because I thought they were either funny or interesting. My first example is “Ridd ...more
I am not exactly sure how I feel about this book. It was informational in the fact that with each form of poetry there was an explanation at the bottom of the page that described the specific rules for that particular poem. This was very helpful in allowing me to read the poetry in the correct way. On the other hand, some of the poetry was a little difficult to understand and figure out. It also did not help that several of the poems did not follow the rules exactly. Some of the poetry was hard ...more
Angelita Beltran
An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms

There are many poetic forms and A Kick in the Head, An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms describes many of these forms. It is a collection of many poems written by different poets and selected by Paul B. Janeczko. The illustrations that accompany each poem are by Chris Raschka. The whole book has a fun vibe and yet it is very informative about poetic forms. The jacket of the book has an acrostic (when the poem is read downward, the first letter of each line forms a
Deanna Stoube
I'm posting this for Kelsey:

book of poems. There were all different sorts of poetry styles the author included in it like limerick, haiku, sonnet, and even couplet. In the beginning of the book, the author Chris Raschka includes 29 of the rules for each different type of poetry. Each poem had a different feel and emotion to them. I think that kids would really respond well to some of the emotions that were portrayed.
I found the illustrations to be amazing. The artwork was extremely colorful and
Poetry anthology? yes. Informational book? Yes. Poetry Reference book? Yes. A Kick in the head is an excellent book that gives the reader 29 different forms of poetry. These forms vary from the very simple couplet, and go all the way until the much more complicated pantoum poem. The poems, selected by Paul B. Janeczko, are by a wide variety of authors. He supplies one poem for each form of poetry given. The illustrations, by Chris Raschka, are quirky and colorful and done in watercolor, ink, and ...more
Nathaniel Chattic
Grades: 4th - 8th

This is a well-put together guide of poetic forms. Paul Janeczko is a poet and a teacher, and both of those skills shine in this collection. There are 29 forms that he introduces and gives an example for in this book. The use of white space surrounding the text is good, for it acts as a "frame" for the easy to read text to pop out. Each poetic form is given a nice summation on each page, and for kids that do not have an idea about writing poetry, this book would make for a great
Patricia Holland
Reflection: I am a very visual person, so this book helped me understand how to compose different forms of poetry because there were samples of each. The author of the book wrote the directions for each form, but he selected other poets work to be the sample. Therefore, there was a wide rage of writing styles which kept it interesting. This is a great book for any age group that has to compose a poem of their own. “Back to School Blues” was my favorite selection from the book.

Teaching Implicatio
This book is great on many levels: it teaches not only the form of each (possibly EVERY) type of poem but the rules as well, with examples. If I were a teacher, anywhere from third grade to Poetry 385, I would use this book to teach, review, and practice the forms of poetry. The art is interesting in an abstract way, but I especially like the explanations and samples.
I've been wanting to get my hands on this book ever since I spotted it on the shelf in the teacher's lounge where I was working.

I love, love, love, the concept of this book. It goes a step further than a mere collection of children's poetry. Each page of this book, beautifully splashed with clever, imaginative artwork, provides an example and definition of a specific poetic form, covering everything from a simple sonnet to a pantoum, from Shakespeare to Soto. I only wish that the book didn't se
Poetry anthologist Paul B. Janeczko and illustrator Chris Raschka present lively examples of twenty-nine poetic forms, demonstrating not only the (sometimes bendable) rules of poetry, but also the spirit that brings these forms so wonderfully to life. Featuring formal poems, some familiar and some never before published, A KICK IN THE HEAD perfectly illustrates Robert Frost's maxim that poetry without rules is like a tennis match without a net. (Goodreads summary)

Wonderful introduction to poetr
Despite the very different illustrations, I think that this is an excellent poetry book. Even as a college student, some of the 29 different styles or types of poetry were foreign to me. I really like how this book is more of a collection of poems by various writers/poets, rather than just a collection of poems by one single person, as it gives it more variety. This book would act as a great resource when introducing or discussing different types of poems with students, especially as it gives th ...more
A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms is another great Concrete Poem book. I chose to read this book for three reasons: 1.) I love this authors work, 2.) The illustrations/poems are beyond amazing and 3.) I wanted a poem book.

This was a PERFECT find!

If you want a great mentor text for your students when teaching poems (concrete poems) this book is your choice. The poems are catchy and fun. I think I found one I really liked and flip the page and I found one I liked more! I am no
Ivan Gaikowski
I think A Kick in the Head is a really fun and clever beginning poetry reference. I always liked poetry and was advised, strongly, against "taking all those 'English' classes". But now I've been getting into the study and found this book to be less intimidating (probably because it is a picture book with simple friendly illustrations) than its 'textbook' counterparts, still very informative, and helpful at conceptualizing some of poetry's less obvious practices.

I also think that its format as a
Brittany Gormong
Invite your students to get creative and use multiple forms of poetry for a poetry unit/poetry day of the week. Then they can perform their poems at a Poetry Jam session!

Author: Paul B. Janescko
Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Paul Janeczko and Chris Raschka pair up to create an "everyday guide" to poetic forms. I love this book! Every year we explore poetry in 3rd grade. Within this unit we study the craft of poetry as well as discuss and experiment with different poetic forms. This is a great way to introduce the different poetic forms, as well as show examples from different authors! I love the beginning of the book. I love the crooks and crannies of this book. The summary of the book is in a acrostic poem, and the ...more
Really great picture book that shows poetic forms of all kinds. They are easy to understand and so clearly lined out. I love this resource!
I LOVE this book and have used/recommended it for years. It gives examples and explanations of a variety of poetic forms. This is a great book to encourage kids grades 3-5 to explore creative writing.

The watercolor, ink, and torn paper artwork works very closely with the poetry in that it symbolically represents each form as it's introduced as well as captures the spirit of the poem.

Highly recommended for classroom use and also as a way of helping kids embrace writing if they have a negative at
A picture book by Paul Janeczko that explores 29 different poetic forms. Each form is defined and examples are given. Would be a great opener for a poetry study.
Marcia First
Genre: Poetry

The illustrations in this book are wonderful - using watercolor, ink, and torn paper. I loved the way this book was formatted: a different poetic form on each page, with a brief explanation of the form at the bottom of the page. At the end of the book the author has included a more thorough explanation of the each form of poetry. The poems chosen are humorous and quirky - ones my students would enjoy. This would be a valuable resource to teachers of poetry.
L11_Ryanne Szydlik
This book, A Kick In The Head, makes me want to teach all the different kinds of poetry there are. This book is set-up by explaining about the different kinds of poems, then it gives the reader and example of that poem. There are many famous poetry authors in the covers of this very colorful book. I learned a lot myself and I am positive that children learning poetry would find this very useful. I see this book being appropriate for children in the intermediate Elementary grades.
What a great book! The author provides great examples of different kinds of poetry along with explanations of the poems' rules. The explanations are printed in a small, unobtrusive font that helps the readers to enjoy the poems first and consider their structure after. The unique illustrations add color and life to the poems, as well. Every English teacher should have a copy of this book, as should anyone who loves reading or writing poetry structured poetry.
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Paul B. Janeczko is a poet and teacher and has edited more than twenty award-winning poetry anthologies for young people, including STONE BENCH IN AN EMPTY PARK, LOOKING FOR YOUR NAME, SEEING THE BLUE BETWEEN, and A POKE IN THE I, which was an American Library Association Notable Book.
More about Paul B. Janeczko...
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