Book Reviews - Books for Building Your Library

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 0% (0 Votes)

In this week's Ten Titles list you will find books for improving your own poetry as well as for supporting students as they improve theirs. We suggest various tools for poets, books about teaching poetry, and poetry books for inspiration.

Honey, I Love and Other Poems

Honey, I Love and Other Poems, taps the heart of a child who has an old soul. A classic of classics, Honey, I Love and Other Poems is a strong contender for the title "Best Book of Children's Poetry of All Time." The economy in Diane and Leo Dillon's illustration prove a gentle companion to Eloise Greenfield's words.

Click here to view this book in Amazon +
Click here to view this book in Amazon +

My Diary From Here to There

Next week's feature book for Artful Read Aloud, My Diary from Here to There, written by Amada Irmez Parezand illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, is a moving memoir of the author's childhood. Parez's account of her childhood move from Mexico to California, combined with Gonzalez's vivid but tender paintings, captures the heartbreak of loss, the processes of grief and growth, and renewal as one turns to face the present.

The Making of a Poem

If you want to develop your word economy muscles, there is nothing like a bit of exercise with form. An essential tool for poets of all skill levels, The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms offers an array of forms presentations in an accessible format. For each poetic form, the anthology includes several sample poems and a narrative explanation of each of the features of the form. For marvelous fun, try writing your way through this book.

Click here to view this book in Amazon +
Click here to view this book in Amazon +

A Kick in the Head

Once you begin exploring poetic form for yourself, you may want to engage children in explorations of form. Paul Janeczko's A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms offers children an introduction to the variety of form opportunities. A Kick In the Head offers a visual feast, with clever illustrations, explanations of forms, and a sampler of poems.

Merriam Webster's Rhyming Dictionary

If you are going to experiment with poetic form, you will need a good rhyming dictionary. You will be surprised how many rhymes for a given word you didn't consider. Words are listed alphabetically with long lists of rhymes and approximations. A rhyming dictionary is an indispensible poet's tool.

Click here to view this book in Amazon +
Click here to view this book in Amazon +

Teeth, Wiggly as Earthquakes

For teaching poetry to very young children, you should read Teeth Wiggly as Earthquakes. This book's genius suggestions for introducing children to poetry are ultra practical, even offering complete descriptions of lessons. The poetry lessons here are practical. Your students will write better poetry if you use this book!

Awakening the Heart

Awakening the Heart...Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School will impact your writing as much as your students' writing. Georgia Heard's voice is engaging and authentic. Her "heart map" exercise will give you and your students fodder for writing.

Click here to view this book in Amazon +
Click here to view this book in Amazon +

Poetry Matters

Ralph Fletcher wrote Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem From the Inside Out for students to read. You can use it as a text for guided reading or as a reference during reading and writing workshops. It's worth reading yourself, as a "How To" guide for writing a poem.

This Place I Know

Also by Georgia Heard,This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort lives up to its title. This anthology of poems of hope and place includes a company illustration by one of eighteen, famous children's illustrators. This Place I Knowoffers a simple, yet consistent voice of encouragement.

Click here to view this book in Amazon +
Click here to view this book in Amazon +

Moon, Have You Met My Mother

If could only own one book of poetry, it should beHoney, I Love and Other Poems. If you could only own two books of poetry, you should own Moon, Have You Met My Mother? The Collected Poems of Karla Kuskin. This varied and lovely book offers enough to read and think about for years. It is a treasured favorite of students.