This book is intended for children kindergarten through grade six. It has won several literary awards including Caldecott Medal (2004), Boston Globe–H...moreThis book is intended for children kindergarten through grade six. It has won several literary awards including Caldecott Medal (2004), Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Picture Book (2004), An ALA Notable Children's Book for All Ages (2004), Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award Nominee (2007), and New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (2003). This book is about the day in 1974 when Philippe Petit spent hours securing a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center. Afterwards, he walked, danced, and performed for over an hour feeling completely free. It ends reminding readers that the towers of the World Trade Center will always remain in memory, as should the image of the man who dared to walk in between them.
This story is heartwarming and encompasses the themes of courage, following dreams, taking chances, and freedom. Through poetry and lyrical words, the author captures the magic and freedom of being able to walk between the two towers. The illustrations greatly add to the book through the color, detail, and magic of the ink and oil paintings. Through this book, the author is able to capture Philippe’s determination, profound skill, joy, and dream-like state as he walks between the towers. This book can be used as a segway when talking about September 11, 2001 and the destruction of the twin towers. Overall, this books serves as a great memorial to the towers as the ending of the book states, “But in memory, as if imprinted in the sky, the towers are still there.” (less)
Where the Sidewalk Ends is intended for individuals ages 5 and above. It is a collection of humorous verse and ink drawings and is the bestselling chi...moreWhere the Sidewalk Ends is intended for individuals ages 5 and above. It is a collection of humorous verse and ink drawings and is the bestselling children’s poetry book of all time. It is also the companion to A Light in the Attic. This collection is extremely funny, as it invites dreamers, wishers, liars, and pretenders to come in and enjoy this random collection of poems with no particular theme or order.
The poems represented in this collection are humorous, quirky, and at times sentimental. The goal of the collection is for the reader to enjoy as represented by the first poem: “If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer... If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!” As soon as children start reading this poetry collection, they will be taken to another world of imagination, which is why I believe this book is so appealing. This collection is also still a favorite of many adults because of the confusing and thought provoking humor that is used in several of the poems. The ink illustrations represented on every page work well with the language to bring the poems to life. Overall, even though some of the poems are a little inappropriate for young readers, the text and illustrations are extremely funny and imaginative, which makes it a read that appeals to all ages and is one that is read over and over again. (less)
This book is a science content-area book and is intended for grades 3-5. It is about a boy who is struck with the “curse of science verse” after being...moreThis book is a science content-area book and is intended for grades 3-5. It is about a boy who is struck with the “curse of science verse” after being told by his teacher that the poetry of science can be heard in everything. The boy then begins to hear nothing but rhyming science verses about evolution, the water cycle, the food chain, the scientific method, and the solar system, among many others. The science verses written are based on well-known poems as stated in the back of the book.
This book is cleaver, humorous, visually stimulating, and uniquely written. This book is sure to catch the attention of older elementary students as it weaves science facts into not only verses that rhyme, but parodies, songs, and rhymes very much like the ones written by famous writers like Poe, Carroll, and Frost, among many others. This book definitely brings science to life. The illustrations perfectly complement the poems as they are as stimulating and unique as the poems themselves incorporating drawing, painting, printed materials, and creative cartoon-like figures with crazy expressions. This book can be used to teach science content in a creative way, as well as teach parody and poetic form. Overall, this book is beautifully designed and irresistible. (less)
This version of Cinderella is told from the point of view of two magpie birds that live outside Cinderella's window and have adopted her as their own....moreThis version of Cinderella is told from the point of view of two magpie birds that live outside Cinderella's window and have adopted her as their own. When hearing about the ball, they make her a magnificent dress from bits of shiny paper and materials that they have collected. The jealous stepsisters rip it to shreds and Cinderella is left in rags. However, the magpie birds come to the rescue when they find a magic ring belonging to her mother causing a fairy godmother to appear, and a new dress, glass slippers, a coach made of a pumpkin. After the ball and meeting the prince, she lives happily ever after.
This version of Cinderella can appeal to all ages. It is told in rhyme and the illustrations are detailed, irresistible paintings making this story a very fun read. This book follows the same storyline and themes of the original Cinderella, but has a unique point of view. The text and bright, colorful, and beautiful illustrations really appeal to the readers emotions. This book can be used in the classroom when talking about points of view, analyzing different versions of Cinderella, or when talking about rhyme or poetic form. This version of Cinderella is very visually appealing and irresistible to read. (less)
Owl Moon is recommended for students in kindergarten through sixth grade and is a Caldecott Medal winner (1988). It is a story about a girl and her fa...moreOwl Moon is recommended for students in kindergarten through sixth grade and is a Caldecott Medal winner (1988). It is a story about a girl and her father who go owling late on a cold winter night near a farm where they live. They are bundled up in warm clothes as they travel through the snow looking for owls in silence. They see in the shadows a fox, raccoon, field mouse and deer. As the anticipation of seeing the Great Horned Owl mounts, “from out of the darkness an echo/ came threading its way/ through the trees."
This story is simple, gentle, and poetic that lovingly shows the special relationship between a father and daughter, as well as a close relationship to nature. The themes present throughout the book include love, family, nature, and relationships. The illustrations wonderfully compliment the book. They are soft, colorful, and are done in watercolor. The illustrations show a bird’s eye view at several different angles and make the reader feel an appreciation for nature and what is must be like to fly in the sky and be free like an owl. The figurative language used throughout the text is also very impressive and adds to the book. This book is a treasure both verbally and visually and is perfect for read-alouds. This book would be best used in the classroom during writing workshop showing examples of figurative language and poetry, or when learning about owls in science. (less)
This poem novel is recommended for students in grades 7 and up and is a Schneider Family Book Award (2008). This book chronicles the life and struggle...more This poem novel is recommended for students in grades 7 and up and is a Schneider Family Book Award (2008). This book chronicles the life and struggles of Josie, a seventh grade girl with Cerebral Palsy, who lives with her mother and grandmother. It also describes in detail a blooming friendship between Josie and Jordan, her neighbor, as well as challenges, which include her grandmother’s illness and her best friend going off to camp for the summer.
This is a heartwarming and inspiring story is hard to put down. The unique poetry format also adds to the appeal of the book. It is a quick read and a relatable book with issues regarding friendship, life struggles, illness, and family. Josie, the narrator of the book, is bright and does not fully realize her limitations or her strengths. The language used throughout the free verse poetry novel is also particularly strong. Reaching for Sun has wide appeal for readers of diverse abilities. Reluctant readers will be attracted to the simplicity of the text, with short chapters and lots of white space on each page. Every poem included really adds to the flow of the book, so much so that some readers may not even realize that they are reading poetry. However, more advanced readers will find enjoyment in the poetic structure used throughout the book. Overall, this book is touching, uniquely written, and will appeal to a wide range of readers as they discover what it feels like to live with a disability. (less)
Sweetgrass Basket is recommended for students in grades 6-8 and is a book written in free verse poetry. This book describes the lives of two Mohawk si...moreSweetgrass Basket is recommended for students in grades 6-8 and is a book written in free verse poetry. This book describes the lives of two Mohawk sisters with alternating passages as each sister tells their life story in their own words. In alternating passages, two Mohawk sisters describe their lives at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, a school that educates Native Americans, as they try to assimilate into white culture. It also describes how they feel about their mother’s death, life at the school, when one sister is accused of stealing, and death.
Overall, this book describes how two sisters feel in alternating poetic passages as they are shipped off to a boarding school, and try to hold on to their language and the few precious they have to remind them of their culture. This book describes how both sisters long for family, friendship, and a place to call home. However, trying to obtain these things results in tragic circumstances and ultimately the death of one sister. The inner-thought narratives allow readers to connect with the characters in a deep and emotional way. However, because the sisters have similar thoughts, it is sometimes hard to distinguish between the two. Overall, this poetic novel is compelling, authentic, and a sensitive and emotional portrayal of a part of history that is not widely known. (less)
The New Kid on the Block is a themed collection intended for students in grades K-6 and contains over 100 hilarious poems about strange creatures and...moreThe New Kid on the Block is a themed collection intended for students in grades K-6 and contains over 100 hilarious poems about strange creatures and people in no particular order or sequence. Poems describe anything from jellyfish stew to a bouncing mouse, and a boneless chicken. Included are humorous illustrations and an index of titles, first lines, and other books written by the author.
This is a must read and possibly even own for all poetry lovers. All the poems written within this book evoke humor, interest, and creativity. Even the most ordinary and random things were brought to life through the language and illustrations used. This book is sure to be a favorite of many children of various ages as they can relate too many of the poems. “Homework, O Homework” is definitely my favorite and will ring true when many students hear it. The illustrations also bring a lot of life to the poems, as the illustrations and poems alike are they are very interesting, creative, entertaining, and funny. This poetic author is a definitely comparable to Shel Silverstein, as his fans will definitely enjoy the poems written by Jack Prelutsky. (less)
The Random House Book of Poetry is intended for students in grades K-5 and is considered a modern classic. Included in this anthology are over 500 poe...moreThe Random House Book of Poetry is intended for students in grades K-5 and is considered a modern classic. Included in this anthology are over 500 poems that are divided into many broad subject areas like nature, seasons, living things, and home, among others as selected by poet Jack Prelutsky. Within the anthology are poems written by Emily Dickinson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Lewis Carroll, among others. Playground chants, anonymous rhymes, scary poems, silly verse, and even some sad poems are represented and carefully indexed by title, author, first line, and subject. Colorful illustrations are also present throughout the anthology.
This anthology collection gives children a taste of exceptional writing of several poets as it spans over several decades. In this anthology, children are exposed to poems in a variety of categories written by classic and newer poets alike. The poems tend to be silly, playful, and encompass a variety of topics, which will appeal to young readers. There are also illustrations on every page which bring the poems to life. This anthology would be best used in the classroom for choral reading, readers’ theatre, and performance theatre. This poetry collection is varied, upbeat, and complete, and is sure to be a hit for poetry lovers in home, school, and library settings.
This themed collection of short animal poems is recommended for students in grades K-3 and has won the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book...moreThis themed collection of short animal poems is recommended for students in grades K-3 and has won the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (2000). In this book, twenty-one short, original poems and splendid paintings celebrate and mock a variety of animals.
These 21 short animal verse poems are light, whimsical, fun, and will bring lots of laughter. Many of the lines within many of the poems are humorous one liners and poke fun at animals from giraffes to porcupines. One example is "Some people wear fur coats of lynx. / I/ think/ that/ stynx." The illustrations are gouache paintings on brown paper bags and are full of textures, various designs, and uniqueness. The artwork has childlike qualities, but are not simplistic as they are animal portraits that are appropriate, cleaver, and unique. The text and illustrations work well together as they both are cleaver and have the intension of poking fun at various animals. This book of short animal poems is sure to be a delight for animal enthusiasts and poetry lovers alike. (less)
This Land is Your Land is a song picture book recommended for students in preschool-grade 4. It is a songbook that is a tribute to the legendary folk...moreThis Land is Your Land is a song picture book recommended for students in preschool-grade 4. It is a songbook that is a tribute to the legendary folk musician Woody Guthrie and his well-known song “This Land is Your Land”. This song combined with Kathy Jakobson’s watercolor illustrations depicts the natural beauty of the United States. A brief biography of Woody Guthrie and complete music and lyrics is present at the end of the book.
In this familiar songbook, Woody Guthrie’s lyrics are teamed with beautiful watercolor illustrations to tell the unique story of the opportunities and beauty of the United States. The paintings have a 1920’s and 1930’s feel, but still hold some truth today as soup kitchens, homeless families, and various family struggles are shown. Illustrated double-page landscapes reflect the song and show the varied landscape of the United States. A unique feature of the book are labeled vignettes that include song lyrics and quotes from Woody Guthrie. Details present within the illustrations including various sights, cities, towns, and urban areas bring the song to life and capture the interest of readers. The book ends with a short biography of the songwriter, as well as the music and lyrics to “This Land is Your Land.” This book is best used in the classroom to initiate discussion about the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, or can be used as a resource for an inquiry project about our country. Since the text and illustrations work so well together, this book is likely to become a favorite of many readers. (less)
The Neighborhood Mother Goose is intended for students in grades K-2 and has won the ALA Notable Children's Books Younger Readers Award. In this book,...moreThe Neighborhood Mother Goose is intended for students in grades K-2 and has won the ALA Notable Children's Books Younger Readers Award. In this book, 41 nursery and street rhymes both familiar and not well known are illustrated with photographs in a city setting.
This book is a modern Mother Goose as computer generated and manipulated color photographs accompany Mother Goose rhymes. The author uses computer tools to combine photos of children in the Brooklyn neighborhood who act out the Mother Goose Rhymes. The scenarios she creates are both realistic and wild. For example, accompanying the familiar rhyme “There was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe” is a double-page spread of tiny children jumping in a giant shoe. Even though reality has never been a part of Mother Goose rhymes, children will enjoy seeing individuals like themselves in pictures that make the familiar rhymes part of imaginative fun in the city. Even though this book illustrated familiar Mother Goose rhymes in a unique way, I did not particularly like this book of rhymes because it combined realistic elements where fantasy is usually present.
This book of poems is recommended for students in grades 5-8. This book is a collection of poems for multiple readers to be used for read louds, as fo...moreThis book of poems is recommended for students in grades 5-8. This book is a collection of poems for multiple readers to be used for read louds, as four voices intertwine to narrate three different poems and scenarios. Each reader follows color coded lines as they read about ghosts, gossip, and grandma rockin’. Each scenario also gets progressively harder and each poem is rich in rhythm, sense, and sound.
Reading through these scenarios requires a little practice, but is sure to bring laughter, interest, and enjoyment. As readers get used to the format of the book, they will be eager to continue reading as each poem increases in difficulty. Instructions for group reading are helpful and introduce the poems. Spacing and color-coded line bars also help to ease confusion as to how the poems are supposed to be read. The illustrations are also unique and are computer-generated folk-like paintings in warm tones that support the text. There are some full-page illustrations but most of the art is present below the poems. This book can be used in the classroom for choral reading, readers’ theatre, discussion, and writing. Students will greatly enjoy reading this book of poems as the topics are humorous and the language used make reading fun because rhythmic and repetitive sounds are used. (less)