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Review of A Song About Myself

A Song About Myself by John Keats; illus. by Chris Raschka Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-5090-2    $17.99    g Raschka’s exuberant pictures and Keats’s playful nonsense poem make an irresistible combination from the very first page, which begins, “There was a naughty Boy…” A thick band of color runs […]

Chris Raschka on A Song About Myself

In our March/April 2017 issue, reviewer Susan Dove Lempke spoke with Chris Raschka about his free-spirited paintings for a new illustrated edition of John Keats’s A Song About Myself. Read the full review. Susan Dove Lempke: Your free-flowing illustrations are a perfect match for this type of child-friendly poem, which follows a form but seems […]

Spring into poetry

Bodden, Valerie  Finding the Rhyme in a Poem Illustrated by Monique Felix Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Creative Education Bodden, Valerie Picturing Words in a Poem Illustrated by Monique Felix Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Creative Education Bodden, Valerie  Poking Fun in a Poem Illustrated by Etienne Delessert Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Creative Education Bodden, Valerie Who […]

At the bottom of my garden

Oh, I owe some of you fantasy writers an apology. Over on Twitter, I’ve been pretty hard on your  Capital Letters and apostrophes and archaisms and spelling. Mostly spelling, like “magick,” or, gilding the lily, “enmagick.” And then there’s faery. That’s a spelling that has been the fingernails on my personal chalkboard ever since chalkboards were […]

Kenn Nesbitt on One Minute till Bedtime

In our January/February 2017 issue, our editors asked poet and selector Kenn Nesbitt about the wide (and somewhat surprising) range of contributors to his new anthology One Minute till Bedtime. Read the full review. Horn Book editors: Not everyone in the collection is someone you’d necessarily think of as a poet. How did you select […]

Review of One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to 
Send You Off to Sleep

One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to 
Send You Off to Sleep selected by Kenn Nesbitt; 
illus. by Christoph Niemann Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    168 pp. 11/16    978-0-316-34121-9    $19.99 A former Children’s Poet Laureate has compiled over 120 short and engaging poems by an impressive number of today’s children’s writers. Here you won’t find the […]

Review of Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds

Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta; illus. by 
Alfonso Ruano; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary, Intermediate    Groundwood    32 pp. 10/16    978-1-55498-849-5    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-850-1    $16.95 Argueta’s bilingual collection of poems gives voice to the many refugee children who emigrate from Central American countries to […]

On Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Delicious rhythms” (from March 1997)

Happy New Year! The first morning back to school after winter break was a hard one in our house. No one, including the grownups, wanted to get out of bed, accustomed as we’ve all been to staying up late and sleeping in. Day two (today) was worse. I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions, but […]

Teaching poetry

In a short 6-week module like the one I teach at Harvard Ed School, time is the enemy. My quixotic goal for this too-short class is to expose students to all aspects of children’s literature, in breadth and in depth. Of course, every year and there is something I wish we had discussed in more […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, fall 2016

For our class on November 16, 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 […]