Monday, April 22, 2013

Poetry Picks for National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month is nearly over.  It's been such a treat browsing through our children's poetry collection this month--so many goodies that I didn't know we had!  I missed a post last week, so I doubled up on the poetry for this post (one book will be featured in an upcoming post about my latest Newbery reads). 

Swing Around the Sun

The poems in Swing Around the Sun were originally published in 1965, accompanied by black-and-white illustrations.  In this recent reprint,  four artists have captured the artistry of the poetry (arranged by season) with stunning and expansive color illustrations.  Out of all the poetry books I've read this month, this is one of the standouts, for both its nature-themed poetry and the brilliant illustrations.

Perfect Harmony: A Musical Journey With the Boys' Choir of Harlem

What better way to demonstrate the beauty and rhythm of poetry than through the perspective of a children's choir? Poems about vocal range, the joy felt while performing, the dedication needed for music study, and more are paired with heartwarming photographs of the famed Boys Choir of Harlem members rehearsing and performing.  A glossary of musical terms is included. 

Little Dog Poems

The poems in Little Dog Poems may be short, but they are packed with personality and humor.  The reader follows this adorable little dog throughout his busy day of napping, eating, and playing.  Although the poems are likely too short to fulfill a memorization assignment, they will delight all dog lovers.

Earthshake: Poems From the Ground Up

National Poetry Month does not (and should not!) be only celebrated in language arts classes.  A poem or two from Earthshake: Poems From the Ground Up at the beginning or end of an Earth Science or Geography class/unit would be a fantastic way to show students that poetry isn't always dreamy poems about nature.  These poems are rockin'--truthfully!  Explosive lava, tectonic plates, and geodes are just a few of the earthy topics featured here.

Today at the Bluebird Cafe

I'm trying to make these poetry posts as diverse as possible, but I couldn't resist including another collection of bird poems.  This is a handsome collection of both funny and thoughtful poems about our fine-feathered friends--eagles, woodpeckers, swans, and, of course, bluebirds are showcased through excellent poems and illustrations.

Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys

I love Guyku.  Guyku shows that there's nothing more "guy like" than enjoying the great outdoors.  Poems are arranged seasonally, so we see this little guy throwing snowballs in the winter and climbing trees in the summer.  This is a celebration of unplugged and unwired fun, and a great way to teach haiku (it emphasizes the important fact that haiku should always be written in present tense, among other things).

I'm enjoying this so much that I'm planning another poetry post for next week, even though this is the last full week of National Poetry Month. Stay tuned!

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