Review of Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses

koertge_lies knives and girls in red dresses

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge; illus. by Andrea Dezsö High School     Candlewick     88 pp. 7/12     978-0-7636-4406-2     $19.99 A much-honored poet and novelist retells, in free verse and from various points of view, twenty-three familiar tales (mostly Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault). With a contemporary sensibility and voice, Koertge pitches directly to […]

Susan Katz on The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub

The President's Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz

From the May/June 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Jennifer Brabander asks The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub author Susan Katz about writing presidential poetry. Read the full review of The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub here. Jennifer Brabander: Which president was the hardest to write a poem about? Susan Katz: James Monroe. The […]

Review of The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems about the Presidents

The President's Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz

The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems about the Presidents by Susan Katz; illus. by Robert Neubecker Primary, Intermediate Clarion 64 pp. 2/12 978-0-547-18221-6 $17.99 In forty-three poems, Katz gives each of our U.S. presidents their due. She concentrates on little-known facts (William McKinley taught his parrot “Yankee Doodle”) but often slips in sly political […]

New verse narrative recommendations

Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle

In honor of National Poetry Month and Poem in Your Pocket Day, we’ve put together a booklist of verse narratives across audience age and genre. Want a historical fiction verse novel or a picture book in poems? Look no further. These books were all published in the last few years and recommended by The Horn […]

Verse narratives

Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle

The books recommended below were published within the last several years. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.   PICTURE BOOKS Suggested grade level for all entries: K-3 The Great Migration: Journey to the North written by Eloise Greenfield; illus. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist (HarperCollins/Amistad) Poignant poems (accompanied by collage […]

Welcome to Field Village

field sing-a-long

A Field Sing-A-Long (Dowa-ya) is a collection of short free-verse poems translated by William I. Elliott and Nishihara Katsumasa from Naoko Kudō’s Japanese originals. Naoko’s poems are set in a natural community called “Field Village.” Various creatures or elements of the habitat—personified with human names such as “Yoshio Rivercrab” and “Futago Rabbit”—act as “poets,” offering […]

Review of Every Thing on It

Everything on It by Shel Silverstein

Every Thing on It by Shel Silverstein; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate | Harper/HarperCollins | 202 pp. 9/11 | 978-0-06-199816-4 | $19.99 | Library ed. 978-0-06-199817-1 | $20.89 Posthumously published works are sometimes weak, but this collection of 140-plus poems is every bit as good as Silverstein’s earlier poetry collections, beginning with the now-classic Where the Sidewalk […]

J. Patrick Lewis named new Children’s Poet Laureate

j patrick lewis

Today J. Patrick Lewis was named the national Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. He’s the third to hold the two-year post, following Jack Prelutsky and Mary Ann Hoberman. In his article “On Originality in Children’s Poetry” in the May 2005 Magazine, Lewis referenced T.S. Eliot’s observation that “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; […]

How pleasant, indeed.

Chronicle has just published His Shoes Were Far Too Tight, a collection of Edward Lear’s poems, selected and introduced by author/NPR commentator Daniel Pinkwater. The collection is illustrated by Calef Brown, a fabulous children’s poet himself. With the book we received a CD of the euphonious Pinkwater narrating five of the poems. My favorite is […]

Tag!

As Roger reports, PoetryTagTime is a new ebook-only anthology of 30 original, interrelated poems. Each distinguished children’s poet “tags” the next poet in line, connecting each poem topically (moon to sun, sun to sunflower, etc.) to the ones before and after it. The PoetryTagTime Tips blog offers ideas for sharing the poems with kids one-on-one […]