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Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  912 ratings  ·  276 reviews
Who says words need to be concrete? This collection shapes poems in surprising and delightful ways.

Concrete poetry is a perennially popular poetic form because they are fun to look at. But by using the arrangement of the words on the page to convey the meaning of the poem, concrete or shape poems are also easy to write! From the author of the incredibly inventive Lemonade:
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  912 ratings  ·  276 reviews

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Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wax-poetic
Words are ever-present in my mind, so I write poetry as a way of keeping myself sane.

But, shapes? Shapes are never in my mind (ask my freshman geometry teacher, she will confirm this).

So, poets like Bob Raczka, who take the words from their minds and turn them into poetry and shapes intrigue me and capture my attention.

I wonder. . . how can one poet conjure so many images to form with his words?

This is a vibrant, creative and fun collection of concrete poems, and perfect for 2nd-6th graders.

Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Raczka's poems in Wet Cement are concrete poems, or shape poems. The words are arranged in a way to create an image to illustrate the poem's meaning. These poems are clever with wonderful flow and provide mental stimulation. Sometimes the words are written backwards or upside down. Other times the poem itself is written in shape of the object it is describing like in "balloon" and "hanger." My personal favorite poem was "firefly."

These poems were a pleasure to read with my child. I highly recom
Mary Lee
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, poetry
Absolutely brilliant concrete poetry. Every single one is as good as the one that came before, but the final poem, "Poetry,"
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I am in love with this book! We need to revamp and refresh our whole Junior Poetry area and reading this has given me the much needed motivation to do it. It is really clever and I can imagine that some kids who think they don't like poetry, will get a kick out of it!
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most brilliant books of poetry I've ever seen.

It plays with words, and encourages kids to play with words. And the play is extremely clever, but it is also poetically sound.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing play on words.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, poetry
Some of the most clever concrete poems I've read. Inspiring book to introduce this type of poetry to children.
Dana Durusu
Apr 27, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: art-visual
Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems is a book of concrete poetry, poetry written/drawn into the shape of the subject of the poem. The book has a lot of great examples of concrete poetry that involve interesting illustrations. This type of poem would adds an visual arts perspective of poetry and may change the way some students think about writing poetry.
I would use this as a model text for middle school students. They could either take a short poem previously read in class and turn it into a con
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, poetry
Wow! Who says poetry has to be dull or boring. This collection of poems was beautiful and delightful to read. I love how the shape of the words represented the subject of the poem. It really makes the poems come alive in a way they would not have if they had been written in traditional lines.
Elizabeth Gray
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-books
I don't usually recommend poetry books but my son (at 13) really enjoyed this book! It would be great for younger readers, too. children who enjoy spatial challenges will like this book.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This book contains an entertaining collection of poems, using the words themselves for the poems as well as the illustrations. The morphing and bending of the words really add a sense of whimsy to the poems. I will certainly look for more of Mr. Raczka's books at our local library.
Raven Black
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like any poetry, some liked and others didn't. For older children due to language,format and lack of traditional illustrations. Not easy, but interesting book. Would be good to teach forms of poetry even in high school or higher
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-689
I LOVE everything about this book, and I cannot wait to share it with my students.
Anna Keller
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really like the variation in poems. Some were heartfelt and deep, others were funny and made me laugh. Overall would recommend
Apr 18, 2019 added it
Shelves: kids-books, poetry
My kid brought this poetry book home from the library, I must document the occasion.
Kelly Jahng
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bluestem-2020
Great intro to concrete poems for kids. The poems are clever and utilize creative devices to communicate meaning. They take just enough thought to challenge young readers.
Rachel Stine
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I hate to complain, especially when we’re talking about a book intended for little readers but P.U. was this a stinker. I feel like the author was trying too hard to be clever rather than genuine. This book will not be used in my tween poetry class. Although the balloon one was kind of cute.
Jenny Clark
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
A quick introduction to concrete poems, which are shaped poems. Good way to get kids interested in poetry, or a good way to see what exactly concrete poetry is.
Suzanne Dix
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-middle, poetry
A fun display of how playful our English language can be! Perfect for a stress-free approach to teaching poetry.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I found this amazing poetry book at the Geneva Public Library. This creatively illustrated and written poetry book introduces children to what concrete poems are. As students read through the pages they will notice how concrete poems are written, the placement of the words helps to depict what the poem is about. The words on each page make an illustration of their own. Your students will be excited to try this type of poem when they are done reading it. This book is best suited for grades 1-4 an ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eng-471
Wet cement is a book that utilizes different shapes and sizes in order to portray and bring to life poems on the page more. This book has words running around, along and within the page in order to present the poetry in a more fun and creative way to the readers. Action words, for example, are put on the page based on what the action means. There are even instances where this book directly speaks about a ball and writes the word "ball" across the page in a way that a ball would bounce. Normally ...more
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Anyone who knows me well also knows that I adore concrete poetry for many reasons. I love the way the creator of a concrete poem relies on shape, size or form to deliver a message, and I adore the creativity that goes into writing such a form. It takes quite a bit of thought and a flair for word play to do wo well. Bob Raczka, author of Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word, an earlier collection of concrete poems, has simply outdone himself with cleverness with these 21 concrete ...more

It's hard to believe the 20th anniversary celebration of National Poetry Month has nearly come to a close. It's been twenty-nine days of showcasing poetry, reading and writing poems, creating spine poetry thanks to promoter teacher librarian Travis Jonker, blogger at 100 Scope Notes, and the true-blue fun of Poem in Your Pocket Day. Although any day of the year is a great day for poetry, this month's focus wins more readers and writers to this literary form.

It's a time to direct attention to be
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services

Title: Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems
Author: Bob Raczka
Pages: 48 pages
Lexile level: 580L
5 out of 5 stars
Recommendations & Comments:
In Wet Cement’s introduction, Raczka refers to poems as word painting because a “poet uses words like colors to paint pictures inside your head.” But, Raczka successfully takes this thinking a step further, manipulating the form and structure of his words to produce a picture not only in the reader’s head, but on the printed page in order to further “emphasi
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love how accessible and fun Raczka makes poetry. Loved Lemonade, love this one too.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
As with most collections, this contains some gems and some duds.
Jennifer Niles
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this book: Poetry

Copyright date: 2016

Estimate of age level of interest: 7- 11 years old

Estimate of reading level: 3rd/4th Grade

Brief description: A poetry anthology of concrete (shape) poems

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your book.
Two elements of poetry are shape and rhythm. Wet Cement demonstrates the importance of shape in poems. All of these poems are concrete poems which means
Jenni Steigauf
Book Title: Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

Reading Level: 4.1

Book Level: 2nd-6th grade

Book Summary: The focus of this poetry book for children is concrete poems, specifically written in the shape of the object they are written about.

Characteristics that support the genre:
The poems in this book all have a natural rhythm, most of them rhyme also. They stretch your imagination and are truly appealing as the poems take on the shape of whatever object they are describing.

Bookshelf Mentor Writi
Savannah Stephan
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
As a reader, I do not commonly think of reading a book of poetry when I go to read a new book. Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems uses the layout of shape poetry in a way that enhances the text. The words and letters become pictures and images that describe and translate the words on the page. The text and the image intertwine, creating an appealing and curious display. The book is full of shape poetry and with this new and exciting aspect, this book makes poetry more appealing to me. There are ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
*Read e-book via overdrive

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka is a collection of concrete poems about ordinary things.

Bob Raczka introduces the text with a quick note which explains how he thinks of words, poems, and art. Raczka explains his greatest hope is that his poetry and "playing with words" inspires readers to do the same.

Each poem is displayed on a two page spread. The titles of the poems are depicted artistically. For instance, the poem titled "clock" is a
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