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Melissa Sweet on Firefly July

Melissa Sweet

In the March/April 2014 Horn Book Magazine, Mag assistant editor Cynthia Ritter asked Melissa Sweet about her creative process when illustrating Firefly July. Read the starred review here. Cynthia K. Ritter: Your visual interpretations of the seasonal poems in this collection are a mix of literal and symbolic. What was your artistic process like when […]

Review of Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems

janeczko_firefly july2

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko; illus. by Melissa Sweet Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 3/14    978-0-7636-4842-8    $16.99 Very short people attracted by Sweet’s child-friendly illustrations (and by the large picture book format) are likely to linger to enjoy the thirty-six excellent poems (grouped by season) showcased on […]

From the Guide: Novels in Verse

The Wild Book by Margarita Engle

To honor National Poetry Month in April, we’re spotlighting notable novels in verse from the past year. From illustrated lighthearted verse to historical fiction to contemporary realism, this eclectic potpourri of Horn Book Guide–recommended novels showcases the form and gives readers — from primary-age kids to older teens — good reasons to celebrate poetry. —Katrina […]

New poetry booklist

Stardines Swim Across the Sky

In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve compiled a list of poetry books for a wide range of ages, all recently published and recommended by The Horn Book Magazine. There’s something for everyone: anthologies and verse narratives; silly poetry and serious poetry; love poems and lullabies; free verse, formal verse, and brand-new verse forms. What […]

Recommended poetry

Put and other Animal Poems

The books recommended below were all published within the last several years and reviewed by The Horn Book Magazine. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.   Preschool Suggested grade level for each entry: PS Lots of Spots by Lois Ehlert (Simon/Beach Lane) Frequently funny poems, rhymes, and the occasional […]

Five questions for Marilyn Singer

Photo: Laurie Gaboard, The Litchfield County Times

Marilyn Singer had already demonstrated considerable versatility of poetic talents when in 2010 she debuted a new verse form in Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse (6–10 years, Dutton). This year she is back with a companion, Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems (6–10 years, Dial; both books illustrated by Josée Masse), in […]

“Because poetry and hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you”*

Lullaby (For a Black Mother) by Langston Hughes

*from The House at Pooh Corner Poetry can be used to examine and celebrate the world we live in and the worlds we invent. A great way to observe National Poetry Month is to share the following exemplary poetry books for young children featuring the calming rhythms of lullaby, the humorous juxtaposition of portmanteaux, the […]

Review of Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer; 
illus. by Josée Masse Primary    Dial    32 pp. 2/13    978-0-8037-3769-3    $16.99    g “It’s not easy,” warns Singer in a note about the “reverso,” a verse form she created and first used in Mirror Mirror (rev. 3/10); and the first poem (“Fairy Tales”) in this companion […]

Leave Your Sleep: Natalie Merchant on Childhood

Leave Your Sleep

While marketed as a two-volume music CD with an accompanying booklet, Natalie Merchant’s Leave Your Sleep might be better understood as a fascinating anthology of children’s poetry accompanied by biographical notes and two CDs on which each of the twenty-six poems is set to music. But it is even more than that. Leave Your Sleep […]