Poetry and Poetry Collections

Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience
Middle school, high school    183 pp.    Seven/Triangle    2019

Edited by Patrice Vecchione and Alyssa Raymond. This piercing poetry collection's sixty-four pieces (many previously published) in a variety of forms mourn loss, celebrate survival, and explore breaking and remaking self and home. The poets—immigrants and refugees themselves, or from immigrant households—tackle topics including racism, displacement, assimilation, and resilience. The contributors all offer timely, culturally specific frames for the universal struggle of growing into oneself. Appended with brief poet biographies. Ind.

Subjects: Literature; Poetry Collections; Multicultural books; Refugees; Immigration; Undocumented immigrants; Race relations; Prejudice; Social acceptance


Landry, Leo  Home Run, Touchdown, Basket, Goal!: Sports Poems for Little Athletes
PS, Gr. K–3    32 pp.    Holt/Godwin    2019

Landry's thirteen poems focus on different sports, from gymnastics to skating to baseball. Short bouncy rhymes, involving use of the first person, and upbeat tones conjure optimistic young children excelling at each sport: "I throw the ball. / You turn around. / I raise my arms and yell, / TOUCHDOWN!" Cheery ink and watercolor illustrations show a variety of skin tones and genders.

Subjects: Literature; Poetry; Sports

Rogers, Fred  A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers
Gr. K–3    144 pp.    Quirk    2019

Illustrated by Luke Flowers. This collection of songs and poems by the iconic television host offers nostalgia for adults who grew up listening to his comforting, empowering messages. As well, the combination of imagination-encouraging silliness and reassurance that it's okay to feel sad or angry sometimes should resonate with a new generation of readers. Bright, cheerful illustrations complement the rhymes and free verse, best suited to shared reading. Ind.

Subjects: Literature; Poetry; Songs; Television; Television personalities


Rosen, Michael  What Is Poetry?: The Essential Guide to Reading & Writing Poems
Gr. 4–6, middle school    197 pp.    Candlewick    2019

Illustrated by Jill Calder. This informative volume achieves exactly what its title purports to do and any library would do well to add it to their collection. Those teaching or studying poetry should also find it valuable, both for its insights regarding interpretation and creation and for its range of poetic examples by classic British and American poets. Loose black-and-white spot illustrations add kid-friendliness. Websites. Ind.

Subjects: Literature; Poetry; Writing; Authors


Singer, Marilyn  I'm the Big One Now!: Poems About Growing Up
Gr. K–3    32 pp.    Boyds/Wordsong    2019

Illustrated by Jana Christy. A diverse set of children take turns detailing their growth milestones in this collection of rhyming verse, a few of which are—very effectively—written in two voices. The colorful digital drawings depict each child learning to ride a bike, attend a birthday party, go onstage, etc. The final poignant poem about a girl and her new sibling circles neatly back to the title.

Subjects: Literature; Poetry; Growth; Family—Siblings


Waters, Fiona, Selector  Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year
Gr. K–3    333 pp.    Candlewick/Nosy Crow    2018

Illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon. This hefty, vividly illustrated anthology includes a seasonal poem from a variety of poets, one for each day of the year. The selections range from humorous to poignant, some rhyming and some in free verse, often several to a spread. The mixed-media art depicts brilliant flowers, expansive skies, and leafy meadows by turn. A keepsake volume, ideal for one-on-one daily sharing. Several helpful indices are included.

Subjects: Literature; Poetry Collections; Seasons; Nature

From the December 2019 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

Horn Book
Horn Book

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