A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems
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A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  320 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Even kids who don’t know they like poetry will love this playful, visually accessible collection of thirty concrete poems—illustrated by a Caldecott Honor artist!

Concrete poems startle and delight the eye and mind. The size and arrangement of words—or even just letters on the page can add or alter meaning, and poems can take the shape of crows and fly off the page. Or beco...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Candlewick (first published March 5th 2001)
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(NS) Sue
This is a colorful collection of concrete poems by an assortment of authors. Some are only one word, but the arrangement of the letters conveys the message beautifully, as in "Stowaway" by Robert Carola. Others have playful words swirling across two pages such as "Skipping Rope Spell" by John Agard. The often zany illustrations made of torn paper, ink, and watercolor captivate the reader without taking away from the arrangement of the poems themselves. This is a unique book for grades K-6 which...more
This is a children's poetry book for ages Kindergarten - 3rd grade

This is a concrete poetry book with selections that will have you turning the book to read some of the poems and pulling the book in close to read others. Each one is visually unique. And there are even some directions on the flaps on how to write concrete poems. I love some of the poems in the book. They capture the essence of childhood things so perfectly. the popsicle, the balloon, jumping rope. Others are just fun to read like...more
Charlie Beck
A collection of children's "concrete poetry" poetry that includes a visual element- words arranged a certain, specific fonts and sizes, etc.
Alison Flemming
A Poke In The I a collection of concrete poems by Paul B. Janeczko and Chris Raschka. (Candlewick Press 2002) 35p. Poetry.

Summary: This book explains what concrete poems are and shows many examples of concrete poems. There are unique illustrations throughout the book to go along with each poem.

a. This book on poems can be very helpful for students when studying concrete poems. There are many examples throughout the book to help students get a grasp for understanding poetry. There were m...more
Grace Willits
This book is a great display of concrete poems! "A Poke in The I" is a collection of special poems, categorized as concrete. The editor supplies a description of concrete poems at the beginning of the picture book. This would be a great resource for teaching students about different types of poetry. Students will be inspired to create poems that show what they are saying, or their structure supports what they theme of the poem is. Chris Raschka’s illustrations for each poem further the visual ap...more
Kyra Calnan
A Poke in The I is a collection of special poems, categorized as concrete. The editor supplies a description of concrete poems at the beginning of the picture book. This would be a great resource for teaching students about different types of poetry. Students will be inspired to create poems that show what they are saying, or their structure supports what they theme of the poem is. Raschka’s illustrations for each poem further the visual appeal of the book. He uses different patterns to create i...more
Renee Burr
I love this book because it is fun to look at with young students. They will not only find each page hilarious, they will be inspired to create some concrete poetry of their own. I love the illustrations of this page, but I also enjoyed the creative ways the poetry was presented. For example, "A Seeing Poem" was written in the shape of a light bulb. I appreciate that this book was written in such a way to inspire students on the joys of poetry.
(NS) Becca
see goodreads review

This book was an immediate hit with my students. The children love to see all the different ways that a poet can arrange words to express ideas. This book teaches children that poetry is about expressing oneself through words. The poems have various elements of poetry interspersed, including imagery and rhyme. There is one poem that plays with sound and is called "visual soundpoem". I believe the poem is trying to express the word gong and how the sound reverberates through t...more
A Publishers Weekly Cuffie Award Winner: Best Book of Poems
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book
An ALA Notable Children's Book
A Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Winner

This collection of concrete poems invites curiosity and humor. Readers can explore each page, as the words of the poems are formatting in clever, witty ways. While not all poems might make sense to chi...more
1. Genre- Poetry
2. Awards- None
3. Grade Level- 3-4
4. This is an incredible book to use to introduce the idea of concrete poems to students. It is a collection of fun concrete poems that students will find very entertaining. As a follow-up activity, I will first discuss what the elements of a concrete poem are. Every element my students tell me, I will ask them to find an example in the book to make sure everyone truly understands the concept. I will then have students pick from a series of rando...more
Amanda Rutledge
"A Poke in the I" is a fabulous collection of concrete poetry, all written by different authors but illustrated by the same person (Chris Rashka). I truly enjoyed every single poem in this book. Not only does it help introduce the idea of concrete poetry to students, but I feel that it may help some students actually find enjoyment out of poetry. The concrete poems are designed to stimulate the eye and the brain, and they almost seem like a puzzle to challenge the reader. Because of this, it is...more
Fisal Ansari
Grades 9-12

Poetry "Concrete Poems"

Perspectives by various multicultural authors.

Amazing artwork to go along wtih each poem. This can be classified as image narrative.

Personal response:
I thought this book stood out the most to me so far. It has poetic form and gives us a new way of looking at poems and thinking about poems. Some of the poems take many different shapes and are written in circular form whisping around and others are very abstract and go along with...more
Marie Lejeune
Bought this for my Raschka illustrator study set...but many of these poems (collected from a variety of poets) are absolutely lovely and speak to the joy of childhood. Great mentor text.
Published 2001.

This is a unique collection of concrete poems. Concrete poems are visually related to the content of the poem. The words may be arranged in a shape that connects to the text of the poem or the font/type may illustrate the text of the poem. The illustrations by Chris Raschka make this unusual collection even more eccentric and enjoyable.

The themes in this collection are as varied as the poems themselves, but include love, sight, food and nature.

This is a superb way to introduce con...more
Great book on poetry with all different types of poetry. These types will really make kids laugh but yet they will really have to think about the pieces
Mackenzie W
This is probably one of the first poetry books that I've actually enjoyed. The book is a collection of "concrete poems" and they don't take on the form that most people associate with poems. The poems are clever and whimsical. My favorite poem in the book is "Skipping Rope Spell" by John Agard. It reminds me of what it was like to jump rope as a young girl. The words curl around themselves on the page, almost in the same way that a jump rope curls around the jumper while they play.

Although this...more
Wendy Daniel
I had no idea what a concrete poem was until I checked out this book after a friend recommended it to me. It is an entirely different way to look at poetry, and I can see how a kid who "doesn't like poetry" would be intrigued. They are about visually interesting and often cannot be easily read out loud. It's all about how they look - their shape, color, movement, and flow. I liked it and found it incredibly creative. It's fun and enjoyable but not necessary relaxing because it takes energy to ab...more
Stephanie Kahn
A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems is a collection of thirty poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka. The thick black text cleverly takes the shape of the subject it describes. Some are simple like “Cat Chair” which is a picture of a chair with the word cat sitting on it. Some are more interesting like “Tennis Anyone” in which the text is set on the far left and right sides of two pages encouraging the eye to alternate between the sides simulating a tenni...more
Kassie Houston
Genre: poetry
Grade: 3-4
Award(s): none

This is a collection of concrete poems. A concrete poem is in which the visual elements are as important as the text. I will explain to my children the oncepts of a concrete poem. After, I will have students pick out what image on their worksheet is concrete and what elements allowed them to know it was concrete? This will let me know that my children understand what a concrete poem looks like. For an activity I would assign them to write a concrete poem for...more
My kids and I loved reading these concrete poems! What a fun collection. :)
Laura Schroeder
This was an odd book. The format of the concrete poems was very interest, which helped make the book for me. A concrete poem is a poem where the poem is written to look like a shape, usually a shape that the poem is about. For example a poem entitled balloon was in the shape of a balloon. I liked the variety of subjects, pictures, and literary elements used in this book. It was a good collection of concrete poems. It is book worth looking at just to see the wide variety of shapes words can make...more
My favorites of these artistically shaped poems: "Merging Traffic", "...an Elusive Intruder", and "Joy Sonnet in a Random Universe, the last of which set my little ones to giggling.
This is a GREAT book to use to help teach children about Concrete poems. The poems in this book are VERY unique and amazing. I was so intrigued when I was reading through this book. After reading this book--Concrete poems are one of my favorite kind of poems. This book is a visually simulating book about poems. The illustrations and poems are what stuck in my mind.

I would without a doubt recommend this book to teachers or children or adults who like to read poems. This book grabbed my attention...more
Concrete poems are both a play on words and shapes to create images. This collection of concrete poems cover many topics and some are funny too. The "Pattern Poem with an Elusive Intruder" is a picture of an apple spelled "apfel" to create the shape and in one line you find a "wurm". The poems are part of the illustrations on each page. This would be a wonderful book to share with students when asking them to create their own concrete poems. It would work well with students in grades 3-5.
This didn't work for me. Good graphics.
Mary Ann
Poetry for the eyes, this book will challenge children's (and adults') ideas about verse. A Poke in the I is a collection of thirty concrete poems that swirl, whirl, and form shapes on the page. Read together, "A Poke in the I" will give reader and listener new ways to think about poetry and art. Chris Raschka's torn paper collages are a perfect, spare and wry accompaniment to the poems on each page. Don't expect the usual "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue" doggerel!
Becky B
A delightful collection of various concrete poems. Some are simple and subtle, others are quite witty and have great depth (and challenging vocabulary...which is why I would say this is more suitable for middle grades or young adult than the K-3 we usually associate with picture books). The torn paper collage illustration fit the poetry quite well. Not usually my favorite illustration method, but it really fits this book.

A nice book for those doing poetry units.
Susan Menk
Tags: concrete poems, non-fiction, pictures, humor, fun, drawings, play on words,

Book consists of all different kinds of concrete poems, from those that are a play on words to those that show action by the way they are set on the page, like the parts of the apple poem.

811.008 Poke

Janeczko, Paul B. illustrated by Chris Raschka. "A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems." Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2001.
Matt Guendel
this was another good book that I read over this last week. I would recommend the Shel Silverstein books over this one but it was still clever. There was a collection of around 30 different poems in this book, some were better than others. In this book some of the poems were only a couple words so they were all shorter. They were also written as pictures to describe the meanings of the poems. That was pretty cool.
This is targeted and marked for a children's book but we all know some poetry is really just for adults and this is one of those. Children have not yet learned the subtle nuances of word-play and this book is filled with it. These are visual poems, I can't even put one here to show you an example, they are that creative and clever.
I totally loved it! If you have any affinity for poetry you will like it too.
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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...
A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms Firefly July A Year of Very Short Poems The Dark Game: True Spy Stories from Invisible Ink to CIA Moles Worlds Afire Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto

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