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Animal Poems

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3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
"Ms. Worth brilliantly employs all aspects of the poet's craft." – The New York Times Book Review

Each of the exquisite twenty-three poems in this posthumous collection by Valerie Worth carefully distinguishes one animal from all other creatures and captures it in all of its wonderful singularity – from wasp to snake to wren. The way Worth perfectly illuminates the uniquene
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Hardcover, 48 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Community Reviews

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(NS) Brea M
Nov 18, 2009 (NS) Brea M rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Animal Poems by Valerie Worth is a themed poetry book of twenty-three free verse animal poems. Each poem creatively gives some factual information allowing readers to learn about the different animals. However, animal facts are not the focus of this book. Instead Worth chooses a unique focus for each poem such as the elephant’s job of doing foolish circus tricks and the important skill of pulling down the tent when it’s time to leave town. I think readers would enjoy Worth’s choice in animals fr ...more
Stephanie Croaning
Sep 15, 2015 Stephanie Croaning rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, 2015
As I read this book I felt there was a real disconnect between the illustrations and the poetry. The cut-collage illustrations by Steve Jenkins are exquisite, and their cartoon-like nature appeals to younger elementary age children. In contrast with that is free-verse poetry by Valerie Worth that requires deep thinking, a sophisticated vocabulary, and vast knowledge of the world. I feel the poetry is more suited to middle grade or high school students, who might view the illustrations as too you ...more
Aiyana Martinez
Apr 21, 2015 Aiyana Martinez rated it really liked it
This cute little book is filled with several poems and each poem is on an animal or insect in the world. Each poem describes the animal or insect it is based on by describing its colors, shapes, features and environments. Every single poem is able to give you a visual of the main animal whether it shows you a picture or not but in all the poems it does. Each poem is also able to let you learn where that animal lives, eats or does active. Some examples of the book are when they describe where the ...more
Rebecca Ostrega
Dec 01, 2015 Rebecca Ostrega rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, picture-books
This is my second poetry book review:

This book was a little difficult to read because the words didn't rhyme and I was trying to get into a rhythm while reading. Other than that, the poems gave wonderful descriptions of what animals do and what they look like. The pictures look almost like they were created with different types of paper. Animals with fur or hair (squirrels, groundhog, camels) have textures similar to their body. The elephant's illustration has leathery, wrinkled completion, and
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Elizabeth
Jul 30, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Animal Poems is a collection of twenty-three animal poems. Valerie Worth's use of free verse and imagery bring to life a variety of kid-friendly animals, including the hummingbird, camel, star-nosed mole, and the owl. Each poem is accompanied by cut-paper illustrations that really add to the beauty of each poem and better allow each animal to be brought to life on paper.

Animal Poems could be used in a poetry unit or as a daily read-aloud. As a teacher, I might read-aloud one animal poem and ask
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Genee121
Jul 29, 2014 Genee121 rated it it was amazing
Animal Poems by Valerie Worth is a wonderful book of poems for both children and adults of all ages. Each poem describes a different animal with illustrations of that particular animal represented in that poem. The illustrations by Steve Jenkins are crisp and in realistic detail through use of paper collaging which made it easier for me (someone visually impaired) to get the full effect of the breathtaking illustrations, making them more enjoyable. I understand how this book was an award winner ...more
 (NS) Maria
Nov 21, 2009 (NS) Maria rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
From Booklist
*Starred Review* Vivid imagery and an expert command of sound and meter distinguish this collection of poems about animals. Each spread is dedicated to a different creature, from tiny snail to blue whale, and Worth's inventive metaphors will startle readers into thinking about common animals in new ways: A wasp is a "sharp flake of / Night let loose In daylight," for example, and jellyfish are "transparent / Ghost-bells / Of lost lands." Jenkins' masterful, spare cut-paper collages
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(NS) Becca
Nov 17, 2009 (NS) Becca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
From Booklist
*Starred Review* Vivid imagery and an expert command of sound and meter distinguish this collection of poems about animals. Each spread is dedicated to a different creature, from tiny snail to blue whale, and Worth's inventive metaphors will startle readers into thinking about common animals in new ways: A wasp is a "sharp flake of / Night let loose / In daylight," for example, and jellyfish are "transparent / Ghost-bells / Of lost lands." Jenkins' masterful, spare cut-paper collage
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Bonnie_bam
Jul 20, 2008 Bonnie_bam rated it it was ok
Worth, Valerie. (2007). Animal Poems. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.

This books contains a collection of animal poems. Each poem is about one particular kind of animal, with an accompanying illustration. From a literary perspective, I can see how the poems would be considered interesting and satisfying. Personally, they were not my style. Most of the lines in the poems were short, containing very few syllables. This, I think, made it hard for the poems to have much of a meter, or recognizable rh
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Haley
Feb 20, 2015 Haley rated it it was amazing
Animal Poems has many long and short poems, each focusing on one specific animal. I loved how the poems each had their own page with a corresponding drawing of the animal on the opposite side of the poem. This adds to the visual display of the poems and will draw students interest. This book is definitely one that I will want to have close by for my students to read and learn about a wide variety of animals through poetry.
Phyllis
Apr 08, 2014 Phyllis rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poets and writers
I use this book in the writing workshops I lead; it is a wonderful source of short delightful poems about different animals. Each poem is a useful prompt to get my writers started on their own poem. A great read!
Dominique Maderitz
Oct 16, 2013 Dominique Maderitz rated it really liked it
Shelves: award-winners
Animal Poems was an award winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. I believe this book won the award for its wonderful use of words and the excitement children would take in this book.This this was a book about many different types of animals and there was individual poems for each animal. Each page of the book was a different animal and it was not really a story but more of information on each animal. I found this book to be cute and fun to read. The pictures were fun and ...more
Angela
Sep 10, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it
A great addition to the classroom library - poems are fun to read aloud, clever, insightful, surprising, and evoking.
Beth
Stunning illustrations (I especially love the porcupine) and beautifully crafted poems make this a treasured collection for any classroom library. This is one of those books that would be great to generate discussions about poetry because there are so many wonderful poetic devices used. Not every poem is going to make sense to students, but that's OK. That can be a great place to talk about this need teachers have to try to interpret everything to death. Sometimes we just need to celebrate and a ...more
Ursula
Mar 15, 2015 Ursula rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Excellent example of the power of word choice for students.
Alexandria Hiam
Mar 18, 2016 Alexandria Hiam rated it liked it
simple animal poems with interesting artwork
A
Mar 14, 2016 A rated it liked it
simple animal poems with interesting artwork
Linda
Mar 24, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful discovery to me, another book with those gorgeous collage illustrations by Steve Jenkins and he’s illustrating exquisite poems about animals by the late Valerie Worth. She writes of a whale floating easily in the sea, “light as dust in sun-baths”, a wasp as a ‘sharp flake of night” and a porcupine “held fast in the thicket of its own thorns”. Her poems don’t just teach us the basics of the animals, but hold questions to consider. It’s a book of poems that older students could ...more
Glenna
Sep 26, 2012 Glenna rated it really liked it
Animal Poems by Valerie Worth is a great book of poems for children ages 5-12 years old. Each poem describes a different animal with each 2 page spread illustrating the animal. The illustrations are comprised of just one animal representation, yet the animal is represented in realistic detail through paper collaging. The use of language in the poems may go over the heads of some young children, but the language combined with the imagery is a great way to introduce young readers to the new sound ...more
Milo
Dec 23, 2012 Milo rated it it was ok
Recommended to Milo by: Mama
My Mama bought this book because she LOVES the pictures. She also likes the poems. However, when she shares the book with me I am not much interested. The poems don't really make sense to me. I like stories that follow a narrative (unless is my truck book or opposite book).

Mama will show me the pictures and make up stories. But, I am still not really in love with this story. Mama is holding on to the day when we can look at poetry together like we do stories.
Nicole Fellows
Jun 14, 2008 Nicole Fellows rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Valerie Worth's poems are simple and easy to read. I really liked the way she looked at each of the animals from a different perspective. She is very creative. I think children would really enjoy this book.

The poem I read was "Porcupine." It was cute because it asked the question, "Does the porcupine ever want to escape from its quills and run and play with the other animals?" That's something you wouldn't normally think about! I liked it!
Magda
Dec 16, 2007 Magda rated it it was amazing
Whale

Too heavy to live
On land, where only
Winged things escape
The weight of stones,

His whole hill of
Flesh floats easily
In the sea, light as
Dust in sun-baths

Or earth balanced
Buoyant in thin space—
Every gravity, whether
Gnat, atom, or planet,

Made, like the whale,
To fit where it is
Found; poised perfectly
In its own place.
Jessica Wenninger
Apr 14, 2014 Jessica Wenninger rated it liked it
This book will be a great book to introduce children to many animals which they may have seen, but do not know a lot about. The poems each showcase one animal and can definitely be added to because only a small number of animals are included. The poems are easy to understand and this would be a great read aloud.
Dolly
Oct 17, 2010 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: older children and parents reading with them
I will start off by saying that I enjoyed reading these poems. They are clever and interesting. However, this is a children's book and I'm not sure how much they will appreciate the poems. Still, nice book with colorful illustrations.
Audrey
Apr 16, 2009 Audrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poems
Bear - This book is full of poems about animals. The poem about the bear is wonderful and the illustration goes right with it. This book would be wonderful when you are studying a unit about bears.
Sandy
Oct 09, 2009 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This is one of those poetry books where the lines of the poems don't rhyme. I really enjoyed these poems about different animals and the illustrations made them all the more enjoyable.
Emily
Aug 24, 2012 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
The poems were nice, but the illustrations made this a worthwhile read for me! Steve Jenkins's paper cut images are quite remarkable.
Paul  Hankins
Steve Jenkins's (BONES, ACTUAL SIZE) illustrations breathe new life into these poems by NCTE Award Winner, Valerie Worth.
Kelsey
I don't really like poetry but this book allowed me to see poetry in a different light.

* picture book, poetry
Julie
Oct 03, 2007 Julie rated it it was amazing
Delightful book of children's poetry. The simple illustrations are just perfect for the short but enjoyable poems.
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243190
(October 29, 1933 - July 31, 1994)
Acclaimed poet Valerie Worth Bahlke was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Swarthmore, where her father taught biology at Swarthmore College. The family then moved to Tampa, Florida, and Bangalore, India, where they lived for one year. Valerie returned to Swarthmore to attend college, graduating with an English degree and High Honors. Shortl
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