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Review of Amazing Places

hopkins_amazing places

Amazing Places selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins; illus. by Chris Soentpiet and 
Christy Hale Primary, Intermediate   Lee & Low   40 pp. 10/15   978-1-60060-653-3   $18.95 The amazing places mentioned in the title of this poetry collection are all in the United States, with their locations marked on a map on the endpapers. The specificity of the […]

How the Grinch stole the show

Grinch stole Christmas

Every classroom teacher has a special tradition that gets pulled out each holiday season. In devising my own tradition, I fell back on what I know: Dr. Seuss. I spent my senior year of college becoming a Seuss-ologist (a term coined by my now-fiancé) while working on a research project that explored the language use […]

Review of My Seneca Village

nelson_my seneca village

 My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson Middle School, High School   Namelos   88 pp. 11/15   978-1-60898-196-0   $21.95 Paper ed. 978-1-60898-197-7   $11.95 e-book ed. 978-1-60898-198-4   $9.95 Seneca Village in Manhattan was founded in 1825 by free African Americans; by 1857 it had been razed to make way for the construction of Central Park. In forty-one poems Nelson […]

Review of Flutter & Hum / 
Aleteo y Zumbido: Animal Poem / Poemas de Animales

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

Bird-Window-Chil-Institute.ashx

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: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem

argueta_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: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation

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 […]