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National Poetry Month

florian_poem depotFlorian, Douglas Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles
Gr. K–3    
154 pp.     Dial

Readers browse through “Poem Depot’s” eleven “aisles” (chapters) with names like “Chortles & Chuckles” and “Tons of Puns.” Many of the pieces are four to ten lines long, easily memorized by the audience, who will enjoy the funny punch lines. Florian uses thick, sketchlike lines for a loose, humorous effect in his Shel Silverstein–esque illustrations. Ind.
Subjects: Poetry; Poetry—Nonsense verse; Humorous poetry

hepperman_poisoned applesHeppermann, Christine Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty
Middle school, high school    
114 pp.     Greenwillow

This collection comprises fifty poems on the devastating conjunction of girls’ vulnerability, the rapacious beauty industry, and fairy tales. Caustic, witty, sad, and angry, Heppermann articulates the false promises, seductions, and deathly morass of popular culture’s imagery of girls’ bodies. What makes Heppermann’s poetry exceptional, however, is not the messages it carries but the intense, expressive drive that fuels it.
Subjects: Fairy tales; Body image; Adolescence

schmidt_pond full of inkSchmidt, Annie M. G. A Pond Full of Ink
Gr. 4–6  
40 pp.     Eerdmans

Illustrated by Sieb Posthuma. A skinny, long-nosed poet fills his pen from the ink pond in his garden and offers the reader a selection of story poems featuring personalities old and young, human and animal, animate and inanimate. The wordplay is energetic; healthy handfuls of enjambment mitigate against dreary dum-di-dum, and the small narratives celebrate lateral thinking, community, and kindness.
Subjects: Poetry; Books in translation

weatherford_sugar hillWeatherford, Carole Boston Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood
Gr. K–3
   32 pp. Whitman

Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. “Sugar Hill, Sugar Hill where life is sweet” repeats throughout this rhymed tribute to Harlem’s storied neighborhood, home of many well-to-do African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance, including Paul Robeson, Lena Horne, Thurgood Marshall, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Christie’s pastel-hued illustrations and Weatherford’s poetry give a strong sense of vibrant simultaneous action, and neither slides into nostalgia.
Subjects: Poetry; African Americans; Neighborhoods; City and town life; Harlem (New York, NY); Harlem Renaissance

winters_literally disturbedWinters, Ben H. Literally Disturbed: Tales to Keep You Up at Night
Gr. 4–6    
64 pp.     Penguin/PSS

Illustrated by Adam F. Watkins. A collection of thirty scary poems is accompanied by truly spooky, atmospheric illustrations that, when combined, make for an unusual horror collection. The poems edge toward humor on occasion but mostly stick to frightening topics. The sameness of the format (poem on verso, illustration on recto) makes this a better choice for dipping into than reading through.
Subjects: Poetry; Supernatural—Horror stories

From the March 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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