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Poems for All!

There's something for every age and every occasion when words and language are used to make poems. There are goings-on afterschool, birds and birdsong, emerging friendships, changing seasons, and much more. All it takes to delight in poetry every day is to keep a "poem in the pocket of your mind"!

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Poem in Your Pocket

By: Margaret McNamara
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Mr. Tiffin's class studies similes, metaphors and different types of poetry in preparation for a visit from a real poet for the school-wide celebration of National Poetry Month. In sharing with Ms. Crane, Ellinor discovers that she holds a "poem in the pocket of my mind." Child-like illustrations combine with a gentle story which dispels many misconceptions about poetry.

After the Bell Rings: Poems About After-School Time

By: Carol Diggory Shields
Illustrated by: Paul Meisel
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

"Like horses at the starting gate,/We shift and shuffle — we can't wait" for the bell that signals the end of the school day. Violin practice, homework, television, and more call on kids during the week and are presented in clever rhyming poems and humorous cartoon illustrations.

Flutter and Hum: Animal Poems / Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales

By: Julie Paschkis
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Short poems about animals appear in English and Spanish accompanied by textured illustrations reminiscent of folk art. An author's note reveals that she is neither a poet nor native Spanish speaking but was launched into both Spanish and poetry when she discovered the work of Pablo Neruda.

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?

By: Rita Gray
Illustrated by: Kenard Pak
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

As two children take a walk, they observe and listen to the call of familiar birds — a mourning dove, starling, woodpecker and others. But they hear nothing from the nesting bird; that is until its eggs hatch. A gently rhyming text and textured illustrations present recognizable birds, concluding with "A Word from the Bird" to answer questions about the once-silent robin.

Lullaby and Kisses Sweet: Poems to Love with Your Baby

By: Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by: Alyssa Nassner
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Every day, young children and their families can celebrate familiar things and activities in this sturdy, handsome, and appealing collection of 30 poems. Each short piece by a range of poets is about food, family, firsts, play and bedtime, creating a memorable collection just right for the youngest listener.

Out and About: A First Book of Poems

By: Shirley Hughes
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Katy and her baby brother Olly go out and about through four seasons beginning with spring when "The birds are busy/And so am I." Realistically rumpled children engage in recognizable activities are presented in short poems and the artist's signature illustrations for a charming collection that celebrates childhood and the seasons.

Over the Hills and Far Away

By: Elizabeth Hammill
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Nursery rhymes from around the globe are collected here with illustrations by more than 70 artists. The diversity of artistic styles, places of origin, and the combination of well and lesser known ditties (and additional verses) in a large format make this a book to share frequently.

Sweep Up the Sun

By: Helen Frost
Illustrated by: Rick Lieder
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The poem encourages readers to "Spread your feathers,/sweep up the sun,/ride the wind and explore." When combined with stunning photographs of birds, many in motion, the natural world comes into crisp focus for a unique, lyrical exploration of North American birds.

The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects

By: Paul Janeczko
Illustrated by: Chris Raschka
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

An introduction presents an overview of the collection's unique perspective: poetry from different historical periods connected by poems about objects. A range of poets and places are presented, each illustrated by loose watercolor illustrations. An opening poem by Eloise Greenfield entitled "Things" provides a lively start to this appealing collection.

Won Ton and Chopstick

By: Lee Wardlaw
Illustrated by: Eugene Yelchin
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Won Ton the cat is back with a new arrival: a puppy! How the adult cat and small dog get on — or not — (until ultimately they learn to live in harmony) is told in haiku. The staccato language of 17 syllable form adds humor and verve to ideally complement the expressive illustrations.

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March 23, 2017

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