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National Poetry Month 2018

Alexander, Kwame  Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures
Gr. K–3     48 pp.     National Geographic

Photographs by Joel Sartore. With Mary Rand Hess and Deanna Nikaido. Striking, detailed photographs of animals appear against black or white backgrounds as descriptive, sometimes metaphorical text plays loosely with the haiku form. Word placement and font size vary across the pages, adding dynamism to the images. Three gatefolds each present smaller labeled photos and a longer poem. The slim volume invites awe of and appreciation for endangered animals. Photographer and poet notes are appended.
Subjects: Poetry; Environment—Conservation—Wildlife; Poetry—Haiku; Environment—Endangered species; Animals

Dickinson, Emily and Snively, Susan  Poetry for Kids: Emily Dickinson
Gr. 4–6     48 pp.     Quarto

Illustrated by Christine Davenier. Thirty-five of Dickinson’s nature-themed poems are loosely organized by season and whimsically illustrated by Davenier in pen with watercolor washes. Editor and Dickinson expert Snively has included explanations for difficult or unusual vocabulary below each poem as well as an insightful one-sentence description of each poem in an addendum. A well-designed and thoughtfully executed collection. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Poetry; Poets; Seasons; Nature; Women—Poets

Engle, Margarita Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics
Gr. 4–6, middle school     48 pp.     Holt

Illustrated by Rafael López. Engle’s poetry paints a diverse picture of the Latino community with an exquisitely curated selection of exceptional figures, some well known, others unrecognized even within their own communities. López’s vibrant portraits of each subject contain abstract visual nods to his or her life themes and work. Biographical notes are appended. Spanish-language edition also available.
Subjects: Poetry; Latino Americans; Biographies; Hispanic Americans

Lane, Diane Luby  Get Lit Rising: Words Ignite. Claim Your Poem. Claim Your Life.
Middle school, high school     245 pp.     Simon Pulse/Beyond Words

Nineteen teenage poets—members of Get Lit, an L.A.-based organization that empowers teens to become passionate about literature, self-expression, and social consciousness — share their personal stories, a classic poem each finds meaningful, and an honest, often raw response poem he or she has written based on that classic. Writing prompts are included in each chapter. Teachers will appreciate the alignment with Common Core Standards.
Subjects: Poetry Collections; Adolescence

VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig  Read! Read! Read!
Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Boyds/Wordsong

Illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke. This collection of twenty-three poems celebrates all kinds of reading, from a new reader understanding “letters make words,” to reading for pleasure by flashlight. With a gently varying meter, the poems are read-aloud perfect; the bright Photoshop illustrations are a pleasing accompaniment. Standouts include “Stories,” in which a girl learns about grief from Charlotte’s Web, and a grandpa’s gift of a poem in “Birthday Card.”
Subjects: Poetry; Books and reading

From the March 2018 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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