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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  ·  Rating Details ·  691 Ratings  ·  122 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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I knew close to nothing about poetry, but, thanks to this awesome textbook disguised as a picture book, I learned 29 poetic forms! :)
Mar 30, 2010 Acton rated it it was amazing
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.
Kit Pang
Jan 24, 2016 Kit Pang rated it really liked it
Here is my poem.

Hickory Dickory Dock
I lost my sock.

May 07, 2008 Amber rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 16, 2015 LauraR rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This award winning book was my choice read based on the unique writing style. This author, chose to write a story about the rules of different forms of poetry. For readers who are just learning about poetry, specifically how to write it, this book is an excellent example of how to do that. Examining the rules of different (29 to be exact) poems, readers have the ability to analyze what makes each poem unique.
The illustrations in the text are unique to each poem and were created through oil past
Kimberly Pilling
Nov 09, 2016 Kimberly Pilling rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
My dad loved music, but he couldn’t sing. “He can’t carry a tune in a bucket” my mom used to say. Yet, he found his musical voice through poetry. He read it, memorized hundres of poems in his life and even published two books of his own work. Poetry has always been an important part of my life and though I do not have my father’s gift for writing it, I do share his love for it. A Kick in the Head written by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrateted by Chris Raschka is a great poetry book. Janexzko even ...more
Shelli Gheen
Apr 01, 2013 Shelli Gheen rated it liked it
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
Oct 03, 2012 Sydney rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry-book
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
May 10, 2012 Riven rated it really liked it
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
Aug 09, 2016 Natalie rated it really liked it
Wonderful illustrations and easy descriptions.
Nov 08, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was ok
Cover and title best bits. If you're determined to teach the subject, it's not a bad book. But I, personally, despise most of Raschka's work, and was not overly impressed with most of the selections.
Rachel Buonforte
Mar 08, 2017 Rachel Buonforte rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Grades: 1st-4th
Summary: I thought that this book was great for poetry and learning in a classroom. It is colorful, fun, and amazing. It has a variety of poetry from haiku to ballad. It is full of engaging colors and stories that could draw in a variety of ages. It also expresses all of the different kinds of poems that are out there.
Review: I think this a great book to have in your classroom. The children would love the colorful illustrations and the funny words. I really enjoyed all the vario
Sep 25, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lis-403-lea
Great book to learn about the different forms of poetry. Love the examples and the notes of the rules/format of the poems in the back of the book. Great guide to writing poetry.
Sandra Carolina
Apr 21, 2016 Sandra Carolina rated it it was amazing
Sandra Carolina Argueta
April 11, 2016
ETEC Children's Poetry Anthology

Selected by Janeczko, Paul B, Illustrated by Raschka, Chris. A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms. Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts,2005

In this book, I was able to better understand, to a degree, the most popular and common structures and forms of poetry used by poets in a really fun way. In this beautifully illustrated book the rules governing the forms and structures of poems is explained. Janeczko
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
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
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
This book includes multiple poems which are used as examples of all the different types of poems, like a haiku, limerick, acrostic, etc. Not only does it share great poems written by many different authors but it also provides the reader with knowledge on what each type of poem is, and how to write one. This could be considered an information text as well because of that.

I really enjoyed this book, which is surprising to me because I am not a fan of poetry. I loved the creativity and how the au
Sep 27, 2010 Lyndi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 21, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
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
Rochetta G
Mar 04, 2012 Rochetta G rated it it was amazing
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
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
Kelsey Carroll
Sep 29, 2010 Kelsey Carroll rated it really liked it
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
Nathaniel Chattic
Dec 08, 2009 Nathaniel Chattic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-books
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
Mar 15, 2011 Patricia Holland rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 23, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
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
Ivan Gaikowski
Feb 12, 2012 Ivan Gaikowski rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 08, 2010 David rated it really liked it
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
Sep 22, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
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
I am madly in love with this book! Such a great selection of poems, mostly unfamiliar, and such fun, modern illustrations. It introduces you to a wide variety of poetic forms, half of which I'd never heard of before. It would be best for older kids because it assumes you know some basic things, like what a stanza is. And although it does explain what a rhyme scheme is, it uses them so much that if that was your whole introduction to it, I think you'd be lost. But it would still work for younger ...more
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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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