Review of Flutter & Hum / 
Aleteo y Zumbido

paschkis_flutter and hum

Flutter & Hum / 
Aleteo y Zumbido: Animal Poems / Poemas de Animales by Julie Paschkis; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Holt   32 pp. 8/15   978-1-62779-103-8   $17.99 A turtle hides treasures in its shell. Whales dance with the ocean. A cat sleeps on a map and wakes to stretch across the world, from Arequipa […]

Poetry and pictures

paschkis_flutter and hum

Poetry appears in many forms in these four illustrated books: one collection of old favorites, two books that present original poetry in both Spanish and English, and one biography of an enslaved man who became a poet. JooHee Yoon’s sixteen selections of poems about animals in Beastly Verse include the usual suspects from Nash, Blake, […]

Goodnight Paresky Room


With apologies to Margaret Wise Brown, a recap of Homecoming inspired by the homiest book of them all. In the Paresky room, there were tweeting phones and thought balloons with pictures of the places we’ve dwelt, and with whom. There were dogs and bears,1 and familiar chairs, and pulses2 that quicken at art, not at […]

Review of Salsa


Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem by Jorge Argueta; illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary     Groundwood     32 pp. 3/15     978-1-55498-442-8     $18.95 e-book ed. 978-1-55498-443-5     $16.95 In this latest addition to his series of bilingual cooking poems (Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding; Guacamole), Argueta […]

Five questions for Nikki Grimes

nikki grimes

April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than by talking with acclaimed poet Nikki Grimes? Her many books include narratives in verse, prose fiction, poetry collections, and nonfiction, frequently featuring African American characters and culture. In Grimes’s latest picture book, Poems in the Attic (illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon; Lee & Low, […]

Versatile verse

wardlaw_won ton and chopstick

National Poetry Month (better known as April) celebrates a form that can be used in myriad ways to explore any topic imaginable. Here are two collections of poems with themes in common, and two books that use poetry to help tell a larger story. A kitty named Won Ton makes his second appearance in Lee […]

Review of Please Excuse This Poem

lauer_please excuse this poem

Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Lynn Melnick High School   Viking   289 pp. 3/15   978-0-670-01479-8   $16.99   g “Most poets begin writing poetry in secret.” Poet Carolyn Forché opens her introduction to this anthology of contemporary American poetry with a shout-out to young or burgeoning […]

Field Notes: “This Is Too Much!” Why Verse Novels Work for Reluctant Readers


Novels in verse have earned their place in the mainstream of children’s and young adult literature — Exhibit A: Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover winning the Newbery Medal — and this is good news for reluctant readers, especially reluctant middle-grade and middle-school readers. Compared to a conventional novel, a novel in verse has perhaps half the […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, 2015

Folklore and poetry

For our class on April 2, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]

Poetrees | Class #5, 2015


As you know if you’ve read Susan Lempke’s article, there are lots and lots of books with poems about a particular subject — enough to read one every day of the school year. As she says, some work better than others as poems. What do you think of this one? Florian has several volumes of […]