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 […]

Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box

Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box

From down in the bottom of the Horn Book boxes comes JonArno Lawson’s newest paperback collection of children’s poetry from Canadian publisher The Porcupine’s Quill. Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box (September 2012), a compilation of poems culled from one of Lawson’s earlier projects for falling outside its narrative scope, features […]

Ye olde children’s poetry

Fleas, Flies, and Friars by Nicholas Orme

Belt up your kirtles and hold onto your snoods. Fleas, Flies, and Friars: Children’s Poetry from the Middle Ages by Nicholas Orme (Cornell University Press, May 2012) presents a variety of verse from days of yore. After a brief context-setting chapter (“Children’s Poetry from the Middle Ages”), Orme provides sections on “Growing Up,” “Words, Rhymes, […]

Book Request Haiku

All I know is that The toad takes some kind of bath And lives forever. (Tuck Everlasting) My teacher read it To show why we should always Listen to spiders. (Charlotte’s Web) The illustrations Showed corks growing in bunches Like fruit on the trees. (The Story of Ferdinand) A single gold tooth, One of them […]

Patron Request

We have a patron who is looking for a book she read as a child. She can’t remember the title. All she knows is, there were lots of strange characters who were large. They were shaped like flowers or clouds. They had mouths like apple sections, they smiled a lot and wore feathers, which implied […]

Review of The McElderry Book of Mother Goose

The McElderry Book of Mother Goose compiled by Petra Mathers

The McElderry Book 
of Mother Goose: Revered and Rare Rhymes compiled by Petra Mathers; 
illus. by the compiler Primary, Intermediate    McElderry    96 pp. 8/12    978-0-689-85605-1    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5314-2    $12.99 Not since Leonard Marcus’s Mother Goose’s Little Misfortunes (rev. 11/90) has there been such a delightfully idiosyncratic selection. Drawn mostly from the canonical Opies (see […]

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 […]