Poetry Studio

Poetry and Verse Novels for 2017 Archive

Poetry and Verse Novels for 2018 Archive

Poetry and Verse Novels for 2019 Archive

Poetry and Verse Novels for 2020

Poetry and Verse Novels for 2016 Archive

Alexander, Kwame.  Booked.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Gr. 6-9
Eighth grader Nick is an avid soccer fan and talented player. Although he is highly intelligent, he claims a disdain for reading and words, particularly those in a book authored by his linguistics professor father who insists that he read it to develop his vocabulary. (Several of those word gems are defined at the bottom of pages.) Fortunately, Nick is fond of the school librarian, a fellow who speaks in rap, sports a red Mohawk, loves dragonflies, and recommends books that Nick might enjoy. The story is non-stop highs and lows for Nick that include soccer game action, bullying, emergency surgery, the unexpected blow of his parents' separation, and his first serious crush. The characters are well delineated, and Nick's pain and confusion are real. Fans of The Crossover will agree that Alexander has scored again!

Argueta, Jorge.  Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds.  Illus. by Alfonso Ruano.  Translated by Elisa Amado.  Groundwood Books.  Gr. 4-6
In 20 free verse poems written in both English and Spanish, Argueta relates the experiences of thousands of young people who are fleeing Central America and Mexico because of violence and poverty. The poems are narrated in first person voices of children like those the author met at a shelter in California. They recall their villages - the aspects that were lovely as well as frightening - and describe the anxiety of the journey to the United States, including the uncertainty of the circumstances upon their arrival. The children evoke memories of their families, some wondering when they will see their parents again and comparing themselves to clouds, constantly adrift. The soft acrylic illustrations temper the sad and poignant stories of the children a bit. These poems provide an opportunity to open the discussion about this timely and most important topic.

Atkins, Jeannine.  Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science.  Atheneum.
Gr. 5-8
In lyrical free verse biographies, Atkins introduces readers to three women who had a passion for science as young girls. They lived in different centuries and in different countries, and all three had to defy conventional "wisdom" regarding women's roles and science. They were curious and brave, and their contributions influenced modern day science in their respective fields. Maria Sibylla Merian (Germany, 1647-1717), the daughter of a painter, lived in a world of superstition regarding the natural world. She observed and collected silkworms and caterpillars and documented metamorphosis. Mary Anning (Lyme Regis, England, 1799-1847), a carpenter's daughter, shared her father's interest in fossils, chiseled layers of rock in difficult conditions, and discovered the first ichthyosaur. Maria Mitchell (Massachusetts, 1818-1889), the daughter of a mapmaker, spent hours with her father charting stars in the night sky and discovered a comet in 1847. Though the author's endnotes and bibliography indicate extensive research, Atkins admits she took advantage of the verse format to "fill in what disappeared" and imagines aspects of their young lives. The result is a trio of captivating, inspirational portraits that will lead readers interested in women's history and/or science to further research.

Bauer, Marion Dane.  Little Cat's Luck.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Gr. 3-5
Patches, a mostly content pet cat with a loving home, wants a special place to call her own. When she becomes captivated by a swirling golden leaf, she escapes to follow it. A series of adventures follows when she cannot find her way back home—she chooses not to eat a mouseling who says "Please," she meets the biggest, smelliest, meanest (not really) dog in town, and she finds the special place (in the process, revealing to readers why she needed it in the first place). Themes of friendship, helping others in need, and motherly love (real and "foster") make this story a charmer. To add interest, lines move up and down and around throughout this verse novel. Cat lovers will clamor for the book. For dog fans, try its companion, Little Dog, Lost (2012).

Brown, Skila.  Slickety Quick: Poems about Sharks.  Illus. by Bob Kolar.  Candlewick.
Gr. 1-4
Brown introduces 14 sharks, familiar ones like the great white and hammerhead as well as lesser known varieties such as wobbegong and cookie-cutter, in several different poetic styles. Rich vocabulary, vivid metaphors, and occasional onomatopoeia give life to these thrilling creatures. The layout is inviting with a large font size, and the print takes different shapes on the pages. An informational note about the featured shark is included on each double-page spread. Eye-popping, jaw-dropping (pun intended) digitally rendered illustrations in the blues, greens, and purples of the ocean fill the pages. No sources or additional facts in the back matter, but kids love sharks and they will revisit this book again and again.

Brown, Skila.  To Stay Alive.  Candlewick.  Gr. 6-10
Real people and events, including the narrator 19-year-old Mary Ann Graves, form the basis of this fictional verse novel about the journey of the ill-fated Donner Party in 1846. At first, Mary Ann shares her father's excitement about the trip west, but exhaustion eventually takes over as the care of siblings, the lack of water, and the physical demands of moving the wagons forward become the reality of the trip. We know from history that the travelers were not prepared for the brutal early winter in the mountains. Brown handles the ensuing cannibalism deftly, effectively portraying the emotions of the dwindling survivors in their desperation. Vivid word choice, different lengths of poems, and the variation of cadence to match the action in the story contribute to the overall impact. Back matter includes an author's note that provides historical context, a photograph of Mary Ann Graves, and a list of members of the Donner Party.

Caswell, Deanna.  Guess Who, Haiku.  Illus. by Bob Shea.  Abrams Appleseed.  Gr. Pre-1
This introduction to the haiku form utilizes a chain of riddles featuring common animals, an opportunity to guess the animal, and a turn-the-page format to confirm the answer. The graphic illustrations are bright, cheery, and uncluttered. Vivid word choice in the haiku invites careful listening. A great choice for reading aloud—get ready for the shouts at every page turn!  Also see: Boo! Haiku (Abrams Appleseed, 2016) by these authors for some fun-to-guess Halloween haiku.

Creech, Sharon.  Moo: A Novel.  HarperCollins.  Gr. 3-6
Fans of Creech's Love That Dog and Hate That Cat will find a new appreciation for cows in her latest novel, a blend of free verse poems and prose. When the family moves from the big city to a small town on the Maine coast, 12-year-old Reena and her younger brother Luke aren't sure what to expect. Their mother volunteers them to help Mrs. Falala, a cranky elderly neighbor, whose pets include a pig, cat, snake, and a slobbery, bellowing, stubborn cow named Zora. Before long, Reena is preparing to show Zora at an upcoming fair (with the help of some local kids), and Luke is teaching Mrs. Falala to draw. In ways that are subtly woven into the storyline, the children learn a lot about patience, kindness, and responsibility. The pages are a visual treat with clever usage of font, size of type, and spacing. Well-developed characters and the fast pace will make this heartfelt book a popular — and memorable — read.

Engle, Margarita.  Lion Island: Cuba's Warrior of Words.  Atheneum.  Gr. 6-9
Engle is known for her verse novels that utilize both real and fictional characters to shed light on Cuba's history, and this one adds another chapter. Antonio Chuffat, a teenager of Chinese-African descent, lives in Cuba during the turbulent 1870s. He is disturbed by the injustices toward African slaves and Chinese indentured servants and works as a courier delivering messages between Chinese businessmen, diplomats, and the military. His friendship with fictional twins Wing and Fan, who escaped anti-Chinese riots in California, leads the three of them to the dangerous practice of hiding Chinese fugitives. Told primarily from the viewpoints of Antonio, Wing and Fan, the story addresses complex political and social issues in ways that the three choose to confront them: Wing chooses fighting, Fan pursues a career as a performer, and Antonio chooses the power of words. An appended historical note provides additional information, along with references and sources for further reading. The story itself is thought-provoking and enlightening, but this book is recommended reading for its exquisite writing as well.

Fogliano, Julie.  When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons.
Illus. by Julie Morstad.  Roaring Brook.  Gr. All ages
This collection begins and ends on the first day of spring and takes readers through the simple pleasures of each of the four seasons. Through vivid use of words, Fogliano personifies aspects of nature (just as children do) with a "sky too busy sulking to rain" and strawberries that are "furious" and roses that "sigh" when it rains too much. The language is rich in delicate similes (a first crocus in the snow is "like a tiny, blue hello") and elegant metaphors ("…each tweet poking/ a tiny hole/ through the edge of winter/ and landing carefully/ balancing gently/ on the tip of spring"). Gouache and pencil crayon illustrations feature a diverse cast of characters who observe and interact with the changes of the passing year and create effective complements to the poems. These poems are meant to be read and reread to savor the exquisite imagery. Is the natural world ever more amazing than through the eyes of a child? Fogliano and Morstad have captured that wonder perfectly.

Frost, Helen.  Among a Thousand Fireflies.  Photographs by Rick Lieder.  Candlewick.
Gr. K-3
In another nature offering by the duo who created Step Gently Out (2012) and Sweep Up the Sun (2015), breathtaking photographs assist a spare poetic text in telling the story of how a male and female firefly find each other among thousands in the night. Readers will be captivated by the detail in the photos. A note at the end explains the science of firefly (actually beetles) flashes. A book to linger over.

Frost, Helen.  Applesauce Weather.  Illus. by Amy June Bates.  Candlewick.  Gr. 3-5
Uncle Arthur and Aunt Lucy always come to visit when the first apple falls from the tree because that means it's time to make applesauce. However, Aunt Lucy is gone now, and siblings Faith and Peter wonder if Uncle Arthur will come this year. He does, but he isn't himself...the twinkle in his eye is missing and he isn't telling stories. The children persist with their words and actions in getting Uncle Arthur to tell a new story about an old question: What happened to his missing finger? Short narrative poems alternate the points of view of Faith, Peter, and Uncle Arthur, allowing readers to get to know each character. Aunt Lucy has a voice, as well, in a series of rhymed poems interspersed throughout, called "Lucy's Song," in which she tells of her life with Arthur. Textured oil-based pencil drawings bring the characters and setting to life. A lovely intergenerational story about learning to cope with grief and the power of storytelling.

Grimes, Nikki.  Garvey's Choice.  WordSong.  Gr. 4-8
Kind, sensitive Garvey would rather lose himself in a science fiction novel than participate in sports, much to the disappointment of his father. He's overweight, which results in some wounding teasing at school. When he joins the chorus, he discovers a talent for singing that he didn't know he had. In addition to building his confidence, music helps form a connection with his father who has a history of involvement with music himself. The tanka verse format of the poems requires careful word choice in developing the character and evoking emotion. In the book's back matter, Grimes discusses the challenges of writing a story in tanka. Her success with the form has created a memorable character whose resilience and courage allows him to gradually accept himself for the remarkable person he is.

Harrington, Janice.  Catching a Storyfish.  WordSong.  Gr. 4-7
Katharen (called "Keet" as in "parakeet" because she talks all the time) is a "born storyteller," according to her mother. She is miserable after the family's move from Alabama to Illinois where the students in her new school have "eyes like measuring tape" and tell her she talks "funny." Before long, her storytelling voice grows silent. Keet is comforted by her beloved grandfather and fishing partner who imparts wisdom about life as well as about catching fish. A slowly developing friendship with a Latina girl in her class helps Keet's confidence grow. So does a school visit from an Appalachian storyteller. When her grandfather has a stroke and can't speak, she delivers a flood of stories to help ease his sadness. Keet finally catches her "storyfish" as she discovers she can write stories that others will want to read. Multiple viewpoints, artful word choice, and a variety of poetic forms (defined in an appended glossary) make this uplifting verse novel good for reading aloud as well as for independent reading.

Harrison, David L.  Now You See Them, Now You Don't: Poems about Creatures That Hide.  Illus. by Giles Laroche.  Charlesbridge.  Gr. K-5
Nineteen poems in five groups (Sea Life, Reptiles & Amphibians, Mammals, Insects & Spiders, and Birds) describe how selected animals use physical attributes to disguise themselves. Information in these catchy rhymes reminds readers that camouflage can assist both prey and predators. Colorful and highly detailed layered collages made from hand-painted papers spill off the pages. Additional facts about the animals are appended. A poetry book for science class!

Latham, Irene.  Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers' Market.  Illus. by Mique Moriuchi.  Wordsong/Boyds Mills.  Gr. K-5
A trip to the farmers' market from set up to closing time offers 20 tasty poems (plus one on the back cover for good measure) for readers to sample. Vivid word choice reflects imaginative ways of looking at ordinary foods (e.g., eggs are "tiny treasure chests" that yield "farmer's gold" when cracked open and lettuce leaves have the "same flavor as rain"). Brightly colored collages feature a cast of animals enjoying the market's offerings. Child-friendly recipes top off the collection. Younger readers, on whom the luscious similes and metaphors may be lost, will benefit from some hands-on experience with fruits and vegetables in connection with this book. Excellent resource on imagery for budding poets.

Latham, Irene.  When the Sun Shines on Antarctica: And Other Poems about the Frozen Continent.  Illus. by Anna Wadham.  Millbrook.  Gr. 3-6
In 15 poems, Latham provides information about physical features and behaviors of a variety of animals that inhabit Antarctica and addresses plants and geographical aspects of this frozen land. The different styles of poetry, often playfully presented, in vivid imagery will be enjoyable read-alouds. Whimsical illustrations in double-paged spreads feature a poem on the lefthand page and a substantial informational paragraph on the right. A glossary and suggestions for additional reading round out the volume. A useful collection for units in both science and social studies, the poems offer an invitation for further research.

Lin, Grace & McKneally, Ranida T.  Our Food: A Healthy Serving of Science and Poems.
Illus. by Grace Zong.  Charlesbridge.  Gr. 3-5
In double-paged spreads, the authors introduce the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, and grains) with a haiku and highly readable informational text that answers questions (e.g., "Why are fruits so colorful?" and "What makes popcorn pop?") that young people typically ask. Brightly colored, acrylic illustrations depict a cheerful group of culturally diverse children exploring the bounty of a farm. The concluding pages discuss healthy eating in general and its benefits. An appended glossary of food terms provides back-up for words that are primarily already defined in context. This book is ideal for units on nutrition with content that is compatible to the "My Plate" agenda.

Lowitz, Leza.  Up From the Sea.  Crown.  Gr. 7 & above
Mixed-race Kai (his American father left years ago) is sitting in school in Japan dreaming of playing soccer when the earthquake begins. The tsunami soon follows, and Kai makes it to safety, but his entire family and many of his friends are lost. What follows is a story of grief, relationships, and rebuilding. The opportunity to go to New York and participate in discussions with people who were similarly affected by the events of September 11 assists with Kai's healing process. Author Lowitz was living in Tokyo on March 11, 2011, when the horrific earthquake and tsunami along the Tohoku coast in Japan occurred. The short lines of this verse novel add to the immediacy to the situation, building tension. Poignant, emotional, and ultimately, hopeful.

Nelson, Marilyn.  American Ace.  Dial.  Gr. 7 & above
Connor's close-knit extended Italian American family is rocked to the core by the news in a letter left for his father by his recently deceased grandmother that the man who raised him was not his birth father, but was instead a pilot called "Ace." Research concerning Ace's ring, which was given to Connor, yields information that further confuses the family—his grandfather was likely African American. Connor wants to know more, and with the aid of a helpful research librarian, he learns that his grandfather may have been a Tuskegee Airman. The poems in are told in Connor's voice, and Nelson utilizes the period of time during which his father is recovering from a stroke to provide information about the Tuskegee Airmen. The heavy themes of this emotional verse novel—identity, face, family—will offer much opportunity for discussion by readers.

Nesbitt, Kenn (Sel.).  One Minute Till Bedtime.  Illus. by Christoph Niemann.  Little Brown.
Gr. K-5
Former Children's Poet Laureate Nesbitt has assembled a substantial collection of poems from a who's who of children's poets (e.g., J. Patrick Lewis, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Marilyn Singer, Joyce Sidman, Margarita Engle, Nikki Grimes, and MANY more) in this volume that lives up to its title billing - most can be read in one minute or less. The poems vary in form, mood, and topic, including subjects that have high appeal for children. While most are rhyming and playful, others are quiet and filled with visual imagery. The clever illustrations in a limited palette of colors complement the poems. Educators should not be fooled by the "bedtime" in the title - these poems are appropriate for any time in the school day. Their short length makes them ideal for in-between moments, and the sheer number of poems (well over 100) in this anthology makes it a useful purchase.

Orgill, Roxane.  Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph.  Illus. by Francis Vallejo
Candlewick.  Gr. 4 & above
In 21 poems, Orgill presents the people and the place that make up an iconic 1958 photograph conceptualized by graphic desigher Art Kane for a special issue on American jazz in Esquire magazine. The people were as many jazz musicians (some well known; some, not) as he could gather, and the place was the stoop of a brownstone on 126th Street in Harlem. The collection spotlights several of the 57 musicians who showed up (plus a few of the neighborhood scamps). The rhythmic poems vary in form. Debut artist Vallejo's extraordinary acrylic and pastel illustrations capture the personalities, historical detail, and spirit of the event. A gatefold reproduction of the photo is the highlight of the book. An appended author's note provides background and a welcome numbered key to the photo. Biographical sketches of the subjects, a bibliography, and source notes round out the back matter. This book is a captivating introduction to the greats of jazz for readers who lack information about this form of music. For fans, it will be pure pleasure.

Raczka, Bob.  Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems.  Roaring Brook.  Gr. 3-6
Concrete poems "paint pictures on the page," according to Raczka, and in this inventive collection of 21 humorous and thought-provoking poems, he does just that. Both the titles and the poems create pictures (actually, nothing escapes his cleverness—e.g., the table of contents, copyright information). Students will certainly want to try writing the form, and even those who think they don't like poetry will be captivated by this book. Best of all: Raczka does not sacrifice elements of poetry (e.g., metaphor, alliteration, vivid word choice, etc.) in his concrete poems, thus providing good models for student writers who become so focused on their drawing that they tend to forget what they know about poetry.

Shovan, Laura.  The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary.  Wendy Lamb/Random House.  Gr. 5-7
The 18 students in the last fifth grade at Emerson Elementary are upset that their decaying school is going to be torn down. Their teacher Ms. Hill has challenged them to write year-long poetry journals for a school time capsule. Through the poems, readers learn that the students take the initiative to advocate for their school in a manner not unlike Ms. Hill's social activism in her younger years. It's difficult to keep track of 18 voices, so it helps that each poet is identified at the top of her/his pages. The class is culturally diverse, and individual personalities often shine through the lines of the poems. The fifth graders write different forms of poetry, and readers are likely to want to try their hand at some of the more inventive types. The book begs to be performed as Readers Theatre, in which readers might each follow one student through the text. This activity may also help them differentiate the individual voices of the Emerson students.

Sidman, Joyce.  Before Morning.  Illus. by Beth Krommes.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Gr. K-2
The opening endpapers, title and dedication pages and four wordless pages set the stage for this invocation, described by Sidman in a concluding note as a poem that "invites something to happen." A small child and her mother walk the dog and then spend some quality evening time together. It's clear from the illustrations that the mother, an airline pilot, must leave for work while her family sleeps. Something else happens overnight …a wish, "Let the air turn to feathers, the earth turn to sugar,…" burying the city and causing the mother's flight to be cancelled. She returns home to spend a joyful snow day with her family. The text is spare - set in perfect collaboration with the art. Caldecott Medalist Krommes (The House in the Night) utilizes multiple perspectives in her elegantly detailed scratchboard illustrations highlighted by warm watercolors to narrate the story. Cozy, comforting, and ideal for poring over on a snow day or any winter day, this gem is a must-have for library collections.

Singer, Marilyn.  Echo Echo: Reverso Poems about Greek Myths.  Illus. by Josee Masse.
Penguin.  Gr. 4-7
The title says it all in this third collection of reverso poems by Singer and Masse. As in Mirror Mirror (2010) and Follow Follow (2013), the poems may be read from the bottom up as well as the top down. This clever style changes the meaning of the poetic portraits of the characters from Greek mythology just enough to alter the point of view. Masse's luscious acrylic illustrations in golds, blues, and greens enhance the myths. For readers less familiar with the stories, a narrative summary is included at the bottom of the pages.

Singer, Marilyn.  Miss Muffet Or What Came After.  Illus. by David Litchfield.
Clarion.  Gr. 2-5
There's more to Miss Muffet's life than sitting on a tuffet and eating curds and whey, and it is all brought to the "stage" in this clever story in rhyme. Patience Muffet is not interested in becoming the lady her mother wants her to be, nor does she share an enthusiasm for insects with her entomologist father. Much to their dismay, she wants to play the violin. When her mother hides the instrument, a spider with a "heart that grasps all kinds of art" helps her find it and the two of them take to the open road. Along the way, they meet a shepherdess who cannot keep track of her sheep, but who can play the fiddle, and the three have a series of adventures as they move on with the hope of playing in King Cole's court. The drama is told in different styles of poetry, complete with stage directions and a hilarious trio who comprise the "chorus." Humorous mixed media illustrations set the play in medieval times. There is a lot going on textually on the pages, but whether students read it or perform it, it will be great fun!

VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig.  Every Day Birds.  Illus. by Dylan Metrano.  Orchard.  Gr. Pre-2
This picture book of a single poem introduces young readers to 20 familiar birds, most of which are found in backyards. Each bird description focuses on one characteristic (e.g., "Oriole hangs her nest" and "Mockingbird has many voices") that relates to appearance, behavior, or habitat. Exquisitely detailed cut paper illustrations are large and vividly colored and will give readers much to study. Appended pages offer thumbnails of the illustrations with additional facts about each bird. Just the type of book to help children sharpen their observation skills when they are walking outside!

Weatherford, Carole Boston.  Freedom in Congo Square.  Illus. by R. Gregory Christie.
little bee books.  Gr. 2-5
In historic New Orleans, slaves were allowed Sunday afternoons away from work and, along with free black people, a place gather - Congo Square. In powerful couplets that count the days to Sunday, Weatherford does not minimize the daily labor of the slaves and the fear of the overseers. When Sunday finally arrives, the people gather to share news, display and sell items they have made, dance, and listen to the music of traditional instruments. Christie's expressionistic, multimedia illustrations show the toil and oppression in thin, extended figures of the slaves during the week. On Sunday, rounded, animated characters take to the streets in spirited dance, rejoicing in "freedom's heart" that is Congo Square. A glossary of words that might be unknown to younger readers is appended. A Foreward by Congo Square expert, Freddi Williams Evans, and a concluding author's note provides historical information about the area, which is part of Louis Armstrong Park and now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Weatherford, Carole Boston.  You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen.  Illus. by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford.  Atheneum.  Gr. 5 & above
This inspiring collection of free verse poems presents the history of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. Weatherford addresses their rigorous training in detail and sets their unflagging determination against the prevailing racist attitudes of the times. The author's use of "you" to address the pilots as they advance toward their dream of flying in the war makes the poems personal. Her skillful writing draws readers into celebrating the accomplishments of these men in spite of the prejudice they endured during their service. The evocative images in the scratchboard illustrations complement the text. An author's note, extensive timeline, and sources make up the back matter. Students who enjoyed American Ace by Marilyn Nelson (see review) and like the verse novel format will want to read this one to add to their information about Tuskegee Airmen.

Yolen, Jane.  The Alligator's Smile and Other Poems.  Photographs by Jason Stemple.
Millbrook.  Gr. 1-5
In 13 poems of different styles, Yolen entertains, informs, and occasionally warns readers about the American alligator. A variety of topics are covered, including habitat, capturing prey, raising young, and physical characteristics. Each poem is accompanied by a fact box related to the poem's content. Readers will be mesmerized by the extraordinary color photographs of alligators in a variety of poses — especially the toothy close-ups! Additional gator facts, a glossary, and books and websites for further learning make up the back matter. Yolen and her son Jason have collaborated on several excellent science-themed collections of poetry illustrated with photographs. This one further demonstrates that there is a place for poetry in the science class.

Yolen, Jane & Dotlich, Rebecca Kai.  Grumbles from the Town: Mother-Goose Voices with a Twist.  Illus. by Angela Matteson.  WordSong.  Gr. 2-6
As they did in their earlier collaboration, Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist, Yolen and Dotlich have taken familiar pieces of literature (this time, Mother Goose rhymes) and joyfully played with language. In 14 paired poems, they experiment with voice and point of view. A poem in which Little Jack Horner's brother laments that Jack spoiled the pie with "a germy thumb" is paired with the voice of the indignant plum who admonishes, "Don't you dare poke me with that thumb." The shoe speaks from "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe;" the spider complains about Miss Muffet; a sock belonging to "Diddle Diddle Dumpling, My Son John" advocates freedom for socks everywhere; a neighbor gossips about the Humpty brothers; "Three Blind Mice" offer a poem in three voices, and more. The fanciful acrylic and colored pencil illustrations on wood will elicit some laughter. The original text of the rhymes is included in the back matter along with a brief historical explanation of each. In an introductory letter, the authors invite students to try their hand at experimenting with the rhymes in a similar manner. To appreciate the clever treatment of the rhymes in these poems, readers will need to be very familiar with the originals. Writing teachers wishing to find examples of voice and point of view will find this book a useful resource.

Page last updated 01/20/20

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